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Don't Wear Air Forces on a Hike
A childhood story, a collection of photos, and a growing appreciation for nature... again.🌳
As a kid, I spent a lot of time outside playing and riding my bike through the neighborhood with friends. One popular kid in the neighborhood always made their house the meet-up point before we ventured out on our bikes. Thinking about this now is so wild because our parents let us ride bicycles in other neighborhoods by ourselves with no way of being in contact with us. We didn't have cell phones. All we had was one older kid with us and a time to be back home. The way kids beg for video games today, we begged to go outside. It was our real-life video game.
Growing up, going to daycare was going to grandma's house. Everyone knows there's not much to do there but watch stories with grandma or play outside. Of course, we always chose to go out and play. My grandma had an acre of land fenced in with one of those chain-link fences you can see through to the other side. She had a little garden to the left of the deck by the fence. I would be so excited when the watermelons and tomatoes grew, but my favorite was picking plums off the plum tree. Being outside back then felt freeing and fun. My brothers and I would make mud pies from the dirt piles under the trees and collect pill bugs (Roly-Poly). We liked to see them curl into a ball as we tried to pick them up. Some days, we were lucky enough to still be at grandma's house till night to catch fireflies. To this day, I don't know how I managed to catch and hold one long enough to see my hands glow from its light.
Fast forward to today, where it's rare to see me outside without ducking or running from a bug. It's also rare for me to willingly accept an invitation involving outdoor activity, yet here I am, hiking through the woods. I haven't been an outdoorsy person since I was a kid, so my choice of clothing was limited. I'm thinking, "Okay, I want to be comfortable. I'll wear cargo pants, a tank top, a bomber jacket, and Air Forces." Why in the world would I choose Air Forces over sneakers? The world may never know. But I'm me, and I wouldn't be me if I didn't wear something that didn't make sense.
Although I can't call myself a nature girl, I have developed a deep appreciation for nature and what it does for the human body. Walking through the woods on an unmade dirt path was so refreshing. I climbed over rocks embedded in the earth and walked on stairs made from the tree's roots. God is so amazing, and I say that every time I'm present in what He created. Every worry, plan, and thoughts about work washed away. It gave me an opportunity to simply be in the rare form of what it might have been like before the evolution of society. It was a moment that is now a part of me that made me feel like a kid again, young and free. It's my little reminder to take time to be in nature. But the biggest reminder is "don't wear Air Forces on a hike."👟
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