Wherever You Are
The melody of a songbird, the caw of a crow. A spider weaving its web in a window corner. Bright green spring leaves emerging, whether in a potted plant or a well-rooted tree.
You don’t have to be in the wilderness or countryside to enjoy the calming, uplifting effects of nature.
Most cities are dotted with patches of green—city parks large and small. Sky, grass and trees attract birds, insects and squirrels. Being still and observing any one of these small gifts from nature brings a bit of peace.
We can’t all get to glorious nature sites easily. City dwellers might walk to a local park. If, like my 90 year old neighbor, walking long distances is a challenge, a slow stroll with a walker for two blocks each way still offers fresh air, the sky overhead, and seasonally changing bushes and trees along the way. Flowers find a way to break through even the toughest sidewalk cracks.
For those restricted largely to being indoors, an indoor plant might be a comfort. Any window view with greenery or a patch of sky to occasionally spot a bird flying overhead can transport us to distant places.
Even individuals living in isolating spaces—due to hospitalization, incarceration, or any number of limiting circumstances—can find an oasis space to visit within the mind. It’s a talent many have developed due to necessity.
I wish everyone the opportunity to visit open spaces with fresh air and nature around them, whether on a mountaintop, a wide field of waving grass, a beach with crashing waves, a deep forest or jungle, or your neighborhood park or back window with a view, even if it has to be within the confines of your imagination for a time.
This week’s Hike Notes, Alta Plaza Park-San Francisco Stair Walk, introduces a hilltop neighborhood park that offers grand views of San Francisco.
Speaking of anywhere and everywhere, check out the World Walks contributed by readers, and see if you’d like to share a walk of your own!
Check the Home page for the broader background story. The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Please feel free to share. Follow on Twitter at @HikingAutism
New this week:
Hike Notes 132: Alta Plaza Park-San Francisco Stair Walk
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.