This is difficult for some and easy for others. For huggers, let's face it, this is Dante's new 9th level of hell. But we are doing this for the greater good. I won't get into decisions or politics about this. It's not the place for it. I want to talk about why the park is, well, essential.
My Grandmother always used to say "Go get some fresh air. Nothing is better for you than fresh air." She's right. A walk, a hike ... fresh air and some light exercise is good for you in so many ways. We have to keep moving and walking circles in our livings rooms while binge watching Netflix is the mind and cardio equivalent of chewing sugarfree gum. Theres nothing there. Just flappin your jaw.
Two, turn off that phone when you do. A lot of people walk the park with earbuds and music or a good podcast (I know a few myself that I love) but it's so important to just take it all in one in a while. We have red-shoulder hawks that you can hear call to their young. The rumble of the train going by or even the sound of the wind in the trees holds different emotions for us all. Take it in.
Three, the park is a place to gather your thoughts. When you take that walk, run or even bike ride, you have time to yourself to sort things out. Yes, these are stressful times but we are all working through it together. Our minds will accept it as we choose to perceive it. Maybe we can take it as a forced reconciliation with ourselves. Or the unplug from everything and everyone for a bit and see where we are in life and take inventory on what is most important. think it through, take a couple deep clean breaths ... it's going to be ok.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be kind. Yes your smile when walking by someone else means something. They are struggling too and it shows them they're not alone. Some of you are in a house with kids and joy (and madness for sure) and a spouse. Others are alone and trying to stay safe and calm. your smile can mean a whole lot to someone struggling with this. Kindness is free and empowering. Share it like fresh air.
We are going to be alright. Never let the stress of things you can't control effect your happiness, your health or your spirit. Be well, friends ... this too shall pass.
The blogs are written by our park Executive Director, Billy Buckbee. Some call him Mo but he's the guy with the beard you see around the park.