Life is Expensive, a Walk in the Park is Free

This week, like most, has been a busy week so far, and my wife and I have logged some serious hours in our home offices. As we own our own businesses, our days are filled with constant activity; from website projects to advancing tour dates to writing projects to filing income taxes. Work, work, work, that’s what we’ve all been called to do, and as life becomes more expensive with every passing year, it seems impossible to ever get ahead. Pursuing a music career in Nashville is no exception, and this causes many to closely watch their budgets, often refraining from recreational activities. One thing that you can do in middle Tennessee, that costs only the gas it takes to get there, is visit one of its beautiful state parks, and yesterday, that’s just what we did, heading off to Edwin Warner Park with some water and granola bars just after lunch.

We’ve been to the Warner Parks many times since our first discovery of these magnificent shrines of nature five years ago, and on this particular day we tackled “The Red Trail”, perhaps the parks most challenging hike covering about 5 1/2 miles. As we hiked through this amazing place, which spans almost 3000 acres of deep woods terrain only 9 miles from downtown Nashville, the stresses of everyday life and business seemed to fall by the wayside with every step we took. The park is exceptionally maintained, with clearly marked trails, and at times, the sounds of the outside world disappear to be replaced by the sounds of singing birds, foraging squirrels, soft winds, and our own footsteps amidst the occasional silence. While it was an unseasonably hot spring day of 90°, the rapidly blooming natural canopy of the forest around us protected us from the hot Southern Sun as we retreated further into the forest. Our midweek expedition took us deep within this mystical place, climbing up and down steep foothills, across the high plateau, through Dripping Springs Hollow and onward past the Betsy Ross Cabin, ever surrounded by majestic timbres, large twisting vines, and immense floral wonders. After losing ourselves in this magical place for a little over an hour and a half, we arrived back at our car feeling reinvigorated, with a renewed sense of purpose and perspective.

It’s amazing how taking a real timeout can help recharge one’s batteries, kind of a spring cleaning for the mind and soul, and how sadly, we as a society, are not more in tune to such simple yet powerful concepts. We could all live richer lives if we could just simply learn to become more connected with the world just outside of our home, our offices, and the usual playgrounds of life. For in the often chaotic and overly hyperactive world we live in, if life is expensive, a walk in the park is still free.

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