Saturday, November 28, 2020

Go Find Some Place New

Last weekend, my son had an outdoor adventure with a buddy that took me to a regional area I don’t frequently go. It got me off my regular path, and given it was possibly one of the last nice days of before the weather shifts, I decided to find my way to a nearby nature park. 

My sights & senses included a multitude of scampering squirrels, crunchy leaves beneath my feet, the earth smell of wetlands, the color contrast of red berries on green vines against the mostly-barren trees at this point in the season. My trail led me beside a tidal marsh, a view of Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and barefoot in the sandy beach shore (where a few youngsters were building a sandcastle). Toe dipping in, the water of the Chesapeake Bay was certainly chilly!

While walking, I was also reflecting, ruminating, and pondering the last several months and the bulk of this past year. It reminded me how much I get from this nature connection, and how surprisingly infrequently I make time for these novel experiences... even in a year of novel coronavirus when calendars have opened to time I could spend this way, if I so choose. The hunkering down of quarantine doesn’t actually have to mean "hunker down." I think sometimes we forget that. We don’t just need to stay safe indoors. And this is coming from someone who has said it before: nature is the foil to all our technology. It’s our mental, spiritual, and emotional chiropractor. We just need to remember to go.

One observation from this year is that it’s the novelty of things is what seems to be missing thanks to Covid, where every day is Groundhog’s Day. There’s nothing new and different outside of possibly carryout and the different pair of sweatpants. But that’s what my meandering about showed me: that it's wrong. There is different everywhere. We just need to make the time to find it. Sometimes that seems to take energy and creativity, and when stretched to our bandwidth, those are hard to access. But what trekking the trail showed me, it was really just a matter of turning the car down a different road. Maybe surprise adventures like a day in a different park are the exact thing necessary for opening our creative and expanding our bandwidth.

Don’t be your own worst indoor enemy. Go find some new place to go—preferably outdoors. May just be the best thing to do this Thanksgiving weekend!

Photos from my camera at Terrapin Beach Park.

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