This week is National Park Week, which means we should all be going outside and enjoying some wild spaces. I have a soft spot in my heart for parks—all of them, even the creepy ones that I sometimes have to walk through to get home. I feel about them the way that I feel about libraries. And you guys know I am all about libraries.
Those wonderful homes for books were created to share knowledge, to keep it from being held only by the rich and elite. Protected parks stand for equality in the same way, as an avenue for everyone to experience the wonders of the natural world. That and because Theodore Roosevelt loved to shoot animals and keep them as trophies. But, hey, we dirty hippies have to take what we can get.
Interacting with nature—feeling the grass between your toes and the sun on your face—is really good for a person. Every person. Just thinking about nature has a positive effect on your brain. There are about eight hundred thousand studies that have come to that conclusion, but I don’t really need any of them to convince me. I can feel it when I hug a tree or jump into a lake. It’s why Central Park exists. It’s why people plant gardens in their sixteenth story windows. It’s why worker bees bring their Chipotle out to the crowded park benches at lunch. Because even in the busiest city, people need space to breath.
Dave would say my love for wild spaces is mostly about me never wanting to shower. That’s definitely a fact, but I think he’s just jealous of my superior ability to adapt to the environment. Because it’s better to not smell like vanilla bean sugar scrub when you’re sitting around a campfire. That tip is in the “avoiding bears and staying alive” handbook the park rangers give you at the entrance gate.