Growing up in Queens I spent a ton of time bike riding with my Dad at Maple Grove cemetery. It was actually one of the only places available for me to ride safely.
I’ve shared this often with friends over the years who grew up in suburban or rural environments and I’ve usually been met with utter disbelief. When growing up with nature privileges, it can be a challenge to conceive of the fact that some kids are raised surrounded by concrete. Even the small playgrounds in my hometown had zero grass.
People also doubt me when I say i was well into my 40s before I went on a proper hike. It just wasn’t something that was a part of my world. I didn’t feel motivated to seek it out, simply because I didn’t know what was there. There was also some cultural based fear of nature to contend with.
I quite literally knew next to nothing about mountains when I moved to the Rockies two years ago. It was an amazingly expanding experience of a world that I’d only seen in movies.
I’m so happy that my relationship to nature has deepened. But honestly, to this day, nothing lights me up more or brings out my inner child as much as as a good cycle through a graveyard! So much joy this morning.