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


The woods are lovely…

IMG_5537…Dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep…

It was about impossible to get Robert Frost’s famed poem out of my head on Saturday! Mom and I recently joined a local photography club, and our first outing was to shoot photos in the woods at on a trail at the American Chestnut Land Trust. We kept giggling about how we weren’t exactly “nature girls” — um, I’ll take the air conditioning and a nice glass of iced tea over a hike any time — but we’re trying to be adventurous, spontaneous and improve our photography.

And it was awesome! Everything was so lush and green, and we really enjoyed hanging out with the club members and learning some new techniques. I’m looking forward to attending the June meeting and getting a little better with my PowerShot G6! Yeah, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing… but I’m having fun. And I got to spend some “pensive,” reflective time thinking about poetry! And communing with nature, sensing my place in the universe. How very existential.

Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.