One of my favorite places to go is the woods. Growing up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, we lived at the foothills of the White Mountain National Park. Being surrounded by beautiful lakes and mountains, being outside was where I wanted to be. It has also been the place where I have had the best conversations with friends. I’m not sure why that is, but when you hike with a friend there is a lot of time to talk and you can cover a lot of territory. There is also a lot of time to just listen and take it all in.
It is also a place where you can leave so much behind.
Now that we are in the midst of social distancing, it seems everyone is outside walking around on nice days. After all, when you spend a whole day inside in the same chair you suddenly realize how much you used to (and need to) move around.
We are fortunate to live adjacent to the Hunnewell Town Forrest in Natick, MA, a 100-acre preserved woodland area. The forest includes swampy areas, varied terrain with a hill topped by a municipal water tank. It is not a big place as forests go but it has a good trail network and its right near my house. I’ve been out there a few times in the late afternoon while the sun is still bright. It is a great way to end the day.
While many better known parks and forests are now closed, some of the less well-known and less frequently traveled are still open and good places to get some fresh air and a little workout.
In this new normal, take a walk in the woods. If walking is not your thing, take a short drive to one of your favorite haunts. You don’t need to get out of the car—use it to remind you of the good experiences you had there. Or, try someplace new. You might discover some interesting places nearby.
These are challenging times and it is hard to see when things will return to normal. I get that. So, take a little time every day and get outside. Health experts will tell you it is good for you.
Need some ideas about places to go outside? Have stories of great places you’ve walked? Give me a call. I’d like to hear them.
In the meantime, hang in there; we will get through this.
Lyman H. Jackson
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