When I was younger I didn’t care much for anywhere rural. I didn’t always live in huge cities, but being somewhere really dark and removed from a town made me freaked out at night. My parents had a small cabin in northern Arizona and I would only ever go when I could bring a friend to keep my mind off the creepy woods.
My parents took me into nature, we went camping and fishing, and I really did enjoy it, but I never thought I’d want to spend considerable time there. As soon as I could live on my own I went straight to NYC!
Last weekend I went to my college reunion. I only live 3 hours from the city, and I’ve been back several times. But for some reason, this time was different.
As soon as I got to the George Washington Bridge I knew something felt different. I felt a little claustrophobic and quite annoyed. I started thinking how if anything really bad happened, people would never be able to get out, there’s just too many people there. (Sorry, the Girl Scout in me thinks of weird stuff like that.)
Walking through neighborhoods I kept thinking, “These people have no gardens, or lawns, and they have tiny kitchens, and how can they store all the food they put up in these tiny apartments??” (Clearly, I’ve started to lose my mind a little!)
The city really does have so much amazing stuff to see and great places to eat and I’m glad I live close enough to return regularly, but I honestly couldn’t wait to get back to seeing wide open spaces. I knew I’d miss my friends, but I just had to see some nature.
Once I crossed back onto the Palisades Parkway I instantly felt better. You could see trees and grass and beautiful views for miles. I was so thankful.
Then this week we spent a whole day in a more rural part of our area going on two field trips. Jack got to play by the water, we saw an old covered bridge, we saw beautiful green hills, and baby cows.
Today Jack played in the mud with a friend at the market while I worked. He was filthy and happy and I loved it. I’m not saying that in Brooklyn there aren’t parks or mud puddles or edibles growing on stoops, it’s just that I need those things on a much greater scale now.
Although many parts of my personality remain the same, I’m glad some parts have changed. I’m glad Jack gets to live where we do, and selfishly I’m really glad to live here too. I’m glad that no more than 10 minutes away I’m right in the midst of farms.
Nature is truly my Xanax.