Thanks to the Trust for Public Lands (TPL), we have a lot of wonderful parks preserved right in our cities and residential areas. These great places have been plucked out and conserved so that we all have nice areas to go relax, fly kites, play with the dog, have a picnic, or just enjoy being around some semblance of nature. A park is a great place to find green grass, trees, fountains, benches and tables, as well as bike paths or scenic views.
You've probably driven by one of these nice parks every day during your hectic and stressful work schedule without hardly giving it a glance, but when was the last time you actually stopped to enjoy the peacefulness of one of these great places?
Because many parks are preserved close to residential and business areas, it's convenient to wander in during your lunch hour or even on your break (if you get one), and steal away even 5 or 10 minutes of relaxation. The parks tend to draw a little bit of wildlife as well, such as ducks and geese, and give us however-little of a brief reminder that the concrete and steel we exist in throughout our day is not really the environment of our origin, and certainly doesn't fit with our natural instincts.
Parks are designed with relaxation and leisure in mind. They cater to the individual who wants a moment to rest -- to sit in the grass, look at the trees, or walk a lot slower than the usual rush-and-hurry of the typical hectic work day. Parks are where the casual picnic takes place, or where you can chew on a blade of grass, fumbling with a fallen twig, or kick off your shoes and feel the earth and cool grass beneath you.
Modern humans live inside boxes now --inside wood, plastic and chalk walls. Parks help bring us back to our senses and remind us we are not made of those things. We are a part of nature and even a small taste of this nature -- preserved for us in the form of parks -- is a great way to check in with the pulse of life and your connection to it. It's a way to remind yourself who you are, and where you come from.
It's hard for some to give up the gadgets to go and taste a little of this nature's delight, but if you can manage it, leave the cell phone and MP3 player in your car, or shut off in your bag. Why spoil a good thing?
Thanks to Ryan Latta for the great photo