Getting closer to nature
Over quarantine last year, my whole family had a lot of free time on our hands. As a result of our proximity to Memorial Park, we took the opportunity to spend more time outside.
When I woke up in the mornings, I would go for a run around the park or make my way to the secluded track. Once I had returned home – and recovered, I felt so much more productive having already accomplished something that felt worthwhile and beneficial for my health.
In the evenings, my family would often play baseball in some of the large open fields at the park. This helped me to decompress after a day of virtual school and get to spend some time outside of my home.
Another popular pastime of ours was taking our dog for a walk around areas of the park. The newly opened lake and trails led to us discovering something new on almost every excursion. I found that when I looked closely enough, I began to see wonders everywhere.
Tall, yellow sunflowers lined our usual path in summer. Our faces turned to the warmth of the sun. Blackberry bushes hid in the shade of the forest, bursting with dark purple fruits. The trail was bordered by vivid green flora. The color was brilliant in the soft sunlight.
For the animal enthusiasts, one can spot frogs relaxing in the shallows of the lake, encounter a bunny in the early morning, watch ducks diving for food, or find turtles sunning themselves on logs.
Whether it was the seemingly never-ending, colorful wildflowers or the variety of wildlife, I always found something exciting and memorable outside.
These adventures transformed my outlook on life. My new favorite color is green. When we drive around the city, my eyes are drawn to the vibrant trees lining the highways and tucked between buildings. Learning to appreciate the outdoors was the most valuable lesson that I learned during quarantine. Having discovered a passion for the natural world, I encourage everyone reading this to go out and find joy in their own small pocket of nature.
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