Parks are Nature Playgrounds for Grownups
One way to explore a new city is to visit the green spaces. The plan for me on day #5 of my grownup holiday is to go wild for nature in city parks.
Even though this is a grown-up holiday, I can’t resist playgrounds. Both adults and kids can play in this one with a running track and play equipment. The warm sun invited lounging on plenty of green space, as well as kicking a ball back and forth, and playing catch with a frisbee. Trees, open areas, and several wooden structures invited many people to play. I tried out some of them and played too.
The majestic trees turned this block into a welcome urban-nature spot. It was pleasant to walk and then sit. Traffic zipped by on the streets but it was still a peaceful place. Birds darted between the trees and down to the ground to snatch crumbs left over from people who ate their lunch on the the benches. The sun warmed faces as well plants. I lingered there enjoying the space and soaking up the nature.
Many old colonial houses had inner courtyards but for most I could only catch glimpses as I walked the cobblestone streets and tiled sidewalks.
This one was tucked behind a restaurant converted from a two-hundred year old residence. Earlier generations certainly had food gardens and , where weather permitted, also had spaces for being outside. Nature was incorporated right into their homes and I hope they didn’t take it for granted as we so often do. I happily ordered a tea and sticky pastry along with the nature treat.
Every city will have some parks and green spaces. Each one will have it’s own character and unique features, some becoming well known around the world. Smaller centers will have spots too, often named after local people or clubs. Including parks is so important with such high numbers of people now living in urban areas. Do you go wild for nature in the parks where you live?
A Bouquet of Nature
Nature has an amazing flexibility. It can be wild and vast as my mountain adventure or small and cultivated like this nature visit to a flower market.
Even before arriving, I could see the corner of the block alive the colors of flowers and variety of green hues. Tho bright and vibrant, these contrasted with the dull stone and concrete. Within the market, the diffuse light beneath the big white canopies glowed rather than shone on the arrangements and pails of flowers.
Besides the colors were the wonderful scents that spread across the market. If colors come in shades, and sounds in tones, what do we call the bits of scents? Sometimes, a scent may have a base or top note, but note doesn’t seem like the right word. Whatever the word for the package of smells, my nose thought (?) it was delightful.
The flowers seemed to absorb the noise of the traffic and the city, although when the church bells began ringing, it was a pleasant background sound to the colors and scents. I could hear the conversations of the flower sellers, and enjoyed listening even tho I didn’t understand the words.
My fingers touched waxy green leaves, velvety petals, and cool drops of water. Some of the palm leaves cut into fans and other shapes were quite pokey. I bought a beautiful arrangement of flowers with a rose in the center and a couple of with a wonderful fragrance.
For the sense of taste, I had to wait until on the way home from the visit to the food market. There are some flowers that are edible but these were placed on the table rather than on a plate.
Certainly one way of connecting to nature is thru our senses, and this was definitely sensory. Going to the flower market was another marvelous way to go wild for nature? One flower or many, aren’t they wonderful gifts? Do you connect with nature by getting flowers for yourself or someone else?
Nature On Top Of A Mountain
Nature was the agenda for my day with a go wild for nature mountain adventure. This was definitely for grownups and a highlight of my holiday.
The morning began with a bus trip and a cup of honey tea at an outdoor patio when I reached my destination. This was followed by a bumpy truck ride up stretch of dirt road to the top of a mountain. Here is a photo of a portion of the view. Could anyone doubt the vastness of nature?
The wind blew quite strongly at the top but only a little way down, it was quite calm and I didn’t need to hold my hat on with both hands. Tucked in amongst the bushes, there were tiny wild blueberries. Unfortunately, they looked ripe on top but were still green underneath so weren’t ready to eat.
A big mushroom was tho, and assured it was safe, I had a bite. There wasn’t much taste but it had an interesting, very spongy texture. Wild flowers popped up in tall, purple spikes or in small, yellow suns. They reminded me of children’s drawings of flowers and the sun. Some bees, all black, buzzed back and forth.
In the midst of being surrounded by nature on all sides, at first I felt as small as the flowers. Gradually, my body relaxed and I took deep breaths of the mountain air. A brief shower felt refreshing. A connection to nature renewed, I will remember to marvel and wonder.
Sometimes, as grownups, we forget to take care of ourselves and meet our own needs. This adventure is not something I will be able to repeat very often, if at all, but even the memories will nourish me.
For yourself, how will you take time to reconnect with and go wild for nature? Might there be a nature adventure or two?
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