A Walk in the Park

RMNP_laborday_1We get outside to live by tide and sun and galaxy
to meet ourselves
to meet each other  –
newly free from pretense and pavement.

 

“Want to go to the park?” 

Yes. Yes I want to go to the park. I always want to go to the park. 

More than a swath of green lawn, Rocky Mountain National Park swaps buildings for mountains and fountains for falls.  

It’s home. 

Kept wonderfully wild, protected from development and open 24/7, National Parks are truly magic. They are windows into the past,  glimpses into the wilder side of our country, with landscapes as varied as the people who walked this rock before us. And I can go from bedside to lake side in about 1.5 hours – something I try (somewhat unsuccessfully) not to take for granted. 

This month, they turn 100. And I have to say, they look damn good for their age.


July: one month, three parks.


Mt. Rainier National Park – Washington

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There’s something to be said about the anticipation of a challenge, the exhilaration of  the unknown. Confident humility.

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This is the place where summer and winter meet. And it feels like trudging.

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Some days we chase the sun, other days – the sun finds us. 

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And in the end, we wander home through a labyrinth of crevasses – to sleep in the shadows of mountains. 


Rocky Mountain National Park – Colorado

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Go in the dead of night or in the breaking dawn, to find your kindred spirits, your dreams made real.

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Know your own existence with every sense. Embrace what that means for you, and you alone.

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Here’s to the lessons the hills teach, the boundaries they push and the friendships they forge.

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And then, wake from your dream and carry with you laughter and smell of pine and the rosy glow of hill-tops waking.


Arches National Park – Utah 

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Here’s to finding a center in the whirlwind, in the places where the earth has fallen from itself, where we embrace our smallness.

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And we play and fall and live in sand designed by time and water. A vortex where neither sound nor ice stands a chance.

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Watch the day begin to yawn, hot and tired from time well spent, into thick, sandy silence.

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Discreetly and vividly alive, against all odds. And that magic, that hope and possibility, we become part of it. Or maybe, really, we never left it.


We need the dirt and grit
and campfire round tables.
We need to be afraid and joyous and humbled and exhilarated-
struck
as only nature can-
to really find our breath,
to actually and simply be.

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