I was feeling a bit restless and needing to get out of the office today, so I took the afternoon off.
After picking up a book from the library and doing some reading while eating lunch outside in front of Canyon Market, I headed home. It was a beautiful day today.
I brought the book into my bedroom and continued reading. And while I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for a while, there were two problems: The book was a little bit depressing (I’d be surprised if it wasn’t) and I wasn’t outside. I knew I’d kick myself if I finished the day without getting outside for a significant amount of time. I walked out to the living room and sat by the open window. I looked outside and felt a mild sense of melancholy wash over me as all I saw outside were houses, and houses, and more houses. I needed to see something other then civilization.
So I headed to Glen Canyon Park on my bike, sans helmet, wind blowing through my hair. I packed light: just my keys, wallet, knife, and bike lock. I left the cell phone at home. Good choice!
My first general thoughts were: wow, beautiful day. It really was. It was the perfect temperature. I locked my bike to a pole along the main path and started hiking up the hill. It was about 3:30 and I wanted to see the sun on its way down from an optimal position. I was cheered by the folks that made eye contact and responded when I said “hello.” After a few short minutes, I got all the way to the top of the hill and found a nice bench to sit down on. I made myself comfortable and laid down.
Then I noticed the constant whir of cars driving along O’Shaughnessy Boulevard. I noticed the noise from the airplanes, and the really annoying noise from some sort of weed whacker in the distance. I was still glad I came, but it definitely soured the experience a bit. I thought, “why can’t we have a peaceful bit of nature right here?” There should be restrictions on noise if it means that one can’t find a bit of nature near their home to relax in.
And then a friend arrived. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a six-inch stalk with purple flowers attached to it disappear into the ground. My interest was piqued. After a couple of minutes I discovered that it was just what I thought it was – a little groundhog or other similar furry guy that lives in holes. Every so often, he would pop his head out of his hole to take another few nibbles of grass. While I was still conscious of the annoying noises of modern civilization, I stopped caring as much while I was observing the little creature just a few feet from me.
Overall, it was an excellent afternoon off of work. And I realized that this park might be even more enjoyable right around the time when the sun comes up – same park but less external noise.
This post has not been revised since publication.