I am seriously wondering about myself. Am I completely nuts? I have lived in “the country” for almost 30 years now and I cannot wait to leave it. I am not a “take a walk in the woods” kind of gal. In fact, I find walking in the woods not only boring but a little bit scary. Oh please don’t judge me. Or do. Go ahead and judge away. Because I’ve walked in the woods and in the park often over the past 27 years. It’s nice and all but one thing I’ve noticed is you don’t really get anywhere except maybe back to where you started. For me, that’s back to the parking lot and back in the car. We drive a lot here in the burbs.
I know there are many articles and much research done about how walking in nature changes your brain. I’m sure it does. I have my moments when sitting by a lake calms my soul and makes me feel peaceful but I’m always left with, “Now what?” Just how many walks around the same park, the same path, the same trail can one take in a lifetime? I am not one to explore further than my own comfort zone especially when I am walking alone in the woods. Ever since the episode of getting lost with my kids as the sun was going down on a warm day in February I have been reticent (no, really, I’ve simply refused to get off the marked path in a park again.) Believe me, not knowing where you are because you wandered from the main trail in a very large state park with 2 kids in the snow as it’s getting dark and cold is no day at the beach. So there you have it. I am afraid of wandering in the woods. I will walk from one end of Manhattan to the other and probably into Brooklyn without batting an eye but do not ask me to go exploring in the woods. I don’t do “explore.” Especially not in the winter.
When you walk aimlessly in the city there are things to see and do even if you had no immediate goal when you set out. There are shops to stop in, there are parks to rest in, there’s a river on either side, a sunrise on one and a sunset on the other. There are museums to visit, street performers everywhere you look, people to talk to and to watch. And yes, there is noise and traffic and commotion and all sorts of smells, many of them not so pleasant. But all of those are the things that make me feel alive and make my heart sing.
I’m trying so hard not to sound like a spoiled brat. I may be coming across as one and if I am, let me apologize. I am grateful for the beautiful home we built here in the wilds of Fairfield County, CT with it’s large yard and lovely garden. Probably if I were a different sort of person it would be pretty close to heaven. There is a lovely lake to swim in about 10 minutes away on property that used to belong to the photographer, Edward Steichen. A dear friend of mine opened an amazing Yoga studio 3 minutes down the road. I live close enough to Long Island Sound that I can get my fix of sand and salt water. I have a barn to go riding at about 15 minutes away. Despite the fact that it’s a 1.5 to 2 hour trip in, the city has always been accessible to me. There is a lot to be thankful for.
But the fact is I can’t walk out my door and go somewhere. If I did I’d likely get hit by a car; we live on a busy road with no sidewalks. The closest thing to a “somewhere to go” is the Post Office, Town Hall or the Library (named for and founded by Mark Twain, in case you were interested.) And I’m a person who likes to go places. So it fills me with joy to be able to walk out the door of my apartment and get coffee.
I can’t be the only one going stir crazy in the country, can I?