DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jun 28 2017

Wonder and Delight

by Dea Anne M

npsWhen I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, I said “Wow! It really is grand!” Instantly, I realized that I must have been about the quadtrillionth person to make that very statement and then I thought “Well, so what?” It seems to me that one of many reactions to such phenomena as the Grand Canyon and other natural wonders might be a sense of awe and the resulting quieting of the mind’s editor who is always looking for a more clever twist of words. Thus, we are reduced to spouting what seem like platitudes on the surface yet are, in reality, genuine expressions of wonder and delight.

July 4th is, of course, observed nationally as a holiday. Many of us have the day off of work. Some of us gather with friends or family, plan to see fireworks and go to barbecues. But did you know that the month of July is designated as Parks and Recreation Month? The National Recreation and Park Association is encouraging everyone to get out and visit not only our wonderful national parks but also our state parks and historic sites and even our community parks and recreation areas. Not to sound sappy, and don’t get me wrong – I have never considered myself an “outdoorsy” sort of person, but there’s just something about being out in nature that makes me happy. Of course I’d be even happier if nature came with no mosquitoes and stayed a breezy seventy-five degrees at all times but, seeing as it doesn’t, I will certainly be grateful for it as it is.national

Are you contemplating an excursion to a national, state or local park? DCPL has resources that can help you plan. First off, even an armchair traveler will appreciate the National Geographic ideaSociety’s gorgeous book National Geographic the national parks: an illustrated history. The text is informative without being intrusive and the stunning photography is what you’ve come to expect from National Geographic. Along similar lines is The National Parks: America’s best idea by Dayton Duncan. A companion volume to the PBS series by Ken Burns, this beautiful volume illustrates the splendour of our national spaces and how really radical an idea it was to designate and preserve these glorious spaces and how crucial it is to protect them for generations to come.

Maybe you’d like to explore parks closer to home. If so, don’t forget about the Georgia state parks and historic sites pass available at DCPL. The pass provides access to and information for gorgeous places in our state like Amicalola Falls State Park and Cloudland Canyon State Park as well fun places to stay like Fort Yargo State Park which has a beach for swimming and yurts to stay in. I really want to stay in a yurt. I can just imagine the conversation with co-workers:

“How was your weekend?”

“I went camping! I stayed in a yurt!”

Actually, I think I just really like saying the word yurt. I guess staying in one constitutes “glamping” which is a word I don’t like saying but hey, hikesglamping just may be my kind of camping especially since I have this weird thing about sleeping close to the ground.

Finally, maybe you only have time for a day trip. If so, consider the virtues of Hiking Atlanta’s Hidden Forests Intown and Out by Jonah McDonald and Randy Golden’s 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles (Atlanta edition). Either (or both!) will give you plenty of ideas for how to spend some a few hours taking in the great outdoors and still get home for a shower and some quality time with a book (or…okay…the screen).

What’s your favorite outdoor pursuit? Have you traveled to any national or state parks that were especially spectacular?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Meridy H July 17, 2017 at 11:09 AM

One of my favourite activities is gardening and I am grateful to live in a community with plenty of “earth” in which to dabble and learn. We are especially privileged, in Atalanta, to have the Botanical Gardens in our midst. This, as with other public green spaces, is a treasure to be enjoyed, shared and supported.

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