Seeking green spaces

Spencer gets the credit for really introducing me to the woods.

Growing up in rural Western New York, my boyfriend has fond memories of playing on the family property and appreciating the great outdoors with his family. While I was eating ice cream and watching Nickelodeon as a kid in suburban Maryland, Spence was disappearing behind trees and digging up the backyard. He likes to camp, builds stuff (like bonfires) — and I consider him pretty rugged. Me? I’m more of a whiny, wilting flower.

Though air conditioning and running water are my friends, I’m coming to appreciate the splendor of being outside. Of stepping out of florescent lighting and getting real sun on my skin. Of turning off my phone (okay, who am I kidding — putting my phone on silent) and soaking up the moment. Working a standard 9-to-5 office schedule, I don’t get moving much . . . so when the weekend rolls around, I get antsy if I’m cooped up the whole time. I like slathering on sunscreen and wandering out with my camera.

So we go to parks now. Spencer introduced me to walking through Southern Maryland, my home of more than two decades, and we’ve found places I never knew existed. All that greenery helps me step beyond my own head — part of some much-needed perspective. I love walking through green spaces now, even seeking them out. When Lu took my sister and me to Washington Square Park in Manhattan weeks back, I could barely take in all the gorgeousness.

Sunlight and nature? They make you feel alive. Took me a while to learn what others have known forever, but sometimes that’s the way with me.

Lu and me in Washington Square Park

Spence in his favorite woods


17 thoughts on “Seeking green spaces

    • Why thank you — very happy to be here! Or, well, there. Because I’m inside now, watching the gray day take over and dodging raindrops. Hopefully it clears up soon.

  1. Glad you found the outdoors! The planet needs more of us. I’ve always been a nature lover and I’m still finding new places to roam. And the more I’m out there the more I crave the sound of the trees rustling and birds chirping.

    • I can definitely appreciate that, Leslie. The birds chirping and soft rustling of trees is definitely a welcome sound these days. Now, if only I could do something about the bugs . . .

  2. Growing up in rural MS, the outdoors is a given. There’s so much we do outside for fun, and many friends I grew up with had families who lived on small farms. I do love some air conditioning though bc by the time June arrives so does 100 degree temperatures and close to 100% humidity. Still then, we get out first thing in the morning and as the sun is going down.

    • That sounds like such a pleasant childhood. We played outside quite a bit at my grandmother’s house, but somehow I never quite got “into” the forest and parks until reaching adulthood. And definitely feel you on the humidity and heat — our corner of Maryland is a swamp, so it’s better to head toward the Chesapeake and seek cooler ground.

  3. Throughout my entire childhood, we hiked and camped. And my husband and kids and I do it now. Just like going to the beach, it changes my attitude and cellular structure just breathing in that air and feeling alive. Yay to Spence for introducing you to it!

  4. You got to meet Lu in NYC, that’s awesome! My husband is about as much of an outdoorsman as you can get. He loves to fish and camp and through him I’ve grown to love the outdoors more as well. He’s good at getting me out of my comfort zone.

  5. i love the outdoors. my favorite part of flying? looking at the city below as the plane is descending and thinking “wow look at all those trees!”. growing up in the city we don’t have a lot of that. sure we have our parks and all, but nature here is nothing compared to what we saw in kauai or even the hill country of texas. it makes me envious of those who are surrounded by all those trees. i’ll probably move out of the city one of these days just because i love being outside and i rather not breathe in the smog and pollution if i can help it.

  6. They sure do.
    Whenever Baby Whimsy is having a melt down, all I have to do is take her outside and sit with her for a few minutes. It brings her such instant peace. She adores nature.

  7. I grew up in rural northeast Texas and it wasn’t until I moved into the concrete jungle that I realized how much I’d taken for granted. Somehow that sense of openness and green is ingrained. I’m glad to be living back out in the country now, even if it does mean a ridiculous commute.

    Enjoy the outdoors and finding more green spaces, Meg! GREAT post!

  8. I’m not much of an outdoors person. I go with my husband and daughter – hiking, fishing, but I just can’t bring myself to love it.

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