Monday, July 15, 2013

A Walk in the Park

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike." ~ John Muir

From week to week, I never know where my blog will take me.

I have ideas how I want to highlight LIFE'S simple pleasures, but I never really know what I'm going to write about until Monday morning. I thought maybe I was more of a planner, but I think I enjoy 'finding' something that happens to come my way. And then, go from there.

Week #29 LIFE'S simple pleasures - parks

A few years ago when my husband and I realized that our path in LIFE was taking us on a new journey, the dreaded empty nest, we decided that we needed to find more things, not necessarily to fill the emptiness of the loss of day to day hands on parenting, but to search out different ways to discover what our LIFE had to offer us in our next stage.

One thing we thought about was hiking. Easy to do and virtually FREE.

I know I've written about this before (many times in many different forms).  Ironically, shortly after we made our declaration, we saw lots of different articles and stories about hiking in your own neighborhood, hiking in local parks and hiking & geocaching.  We decided that this was a sign that maybe we were on the right path. *wink

Living in the flatlands of Illinois, we knew that we weren't going to be climbing rocky or smokey mountains, we weren't going to be trekking the hot dessert wastelands and we knew unless we went on vacation somewhere out of the state, we wouldn't be hiking fo national treasures in parks.

But we did find out that there are over 25,021 acres of protected preserves in our county alone.  There are over 32 nature parks, with 17 dedicated conservation districts within a half an hour of our home.

And so, we have been visiting local parks and district conservation parks and state nature preserves.  A park is an open space providing recreational use and protection of wild life or natural habitats.
Parks have a sentimental value for us.  As long as my husband and I have been together, we have enjoyed going to the park, any park.  And through the years we have established a yearly fall family photo shoot of how we have all grown and changed throughout the year.  Parks have been a great backdrop to record the event.
Here is our little family 19 years ago.  Sweet!
We forget that life consists of small everyday experiences and it is what the happiness is made of. A walk in the park, a smile of your baby, a beautiful sunrise, unexpected compliment from a stranger...Those are the moments that count most. ~ Sumesh Nair

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