Appreciating my Local Park

I’ve been taking the opportunity lately, to embrace the light, sunny mornings (or frequently light, rainy mornings) by running/jogging/stumbling around my local park – Pontefract Park.

It’s a park that I’ve known for years. I’ve done a 5 and 10K ‘Race for Life’ there. I’ve trained for marathons, half-marathons and the Tough Mudder there, once running around the park 5 whole exhausting times. I’ve seen sunshine, mud, heavy rain and even ice – eeek!

Me and this park have been through a lot together. And yet… I don’t think I’ve ever really appreciated its beauty.

Probably because I’m often doing something gut-wrenchingly awful when I’m there; something which drags my focus towards thoughts and feelings, rather than the stunning surroundings. And probably because like most people, I often fail to appreciate the places local to me – ‘normal’ as they are.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a fairly ordinary park. There’s a lake and a good amount of trees, but that’s about it really. Nothing special.

Looking at it this morning however, I really saw how utterly, breath-takingly beautiful it was.

It was the perfect mix of early-morning sunshine and a cool, Summer breeze. And as I stood stretching post-run, I felt as if the trees were speaking to me – whispering sweet nothings. What is it they say? “The Earth has music for those who will listen.”

Maybe it was the endorphins, but in this moment, I felt a deep connection with nature and a sense of inner-peace and contentment.

If you are fortunate enough to have a local park/nature reserve/forest/back garden, I highly recommend getting out in it this Summer and really seeing it with fresh eyes; as if you haven’t seen it before.

You might find that you’ve missed something that was right there all along.

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