This morning I drove across town to go to the Blacklick Woods Metro Park whose main entrance is off of Livingston Ave on the E side of Brice Rd. Its trails connect easily to Huber Park (across the street) that runs along Blacklick Creek all the way up to E Broad and, in the other direction, all the way down to Tussing Rd in Reynoldsburg.
When I first moved to Columbus in the fall of 2007, I lived right off of Brice Rd, south of Livingston. I moved to this charming little section of Columbus for one reason and one reason only: it was the cheapest I could find remotely close to where Nick and Gena were living in Bexley. I came to Columbus with all the money I’d saved from my summer job, and my only dog at the time, Belle. I had just finished my time in college the May before and had spent the summer at my parents house working part time at Old Navy. It was halfway through August by the time I realized I wanted to up and move to Columbus with no job and no real plan. And (God love her) my Mom helped me do it in with about two weeks worth of planning. I stayed in the apartment off Brice for about a year and half before moving to Bexley, and now to south of Hilliard. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve been back to that side of town. It was a nice reminder of that new beginning, which honestly, is much like the one I’m in now. I’m here . . . so now what? It took be quite awhile to eke out the living I have here. This is the longest I’ve lived in one city since I graduated from high school, and I don’t want to leave. I love this city. But thinking again about that time in my life also reminds me that the situation I have now put myself in risks everything I’ve built or “eked,” if you will. It’s scary, but I feel it’s necessary at this stage in my life to not simply live here, but to become a better person while living here. Stagnation cannot be an option for me now. It just can’t.
And so I went to the park I had visited many time before and decided to try some of the smaller trails towards the back of the park that I’d never even knew existed. Actually, there is a nature preserve nestled right into the heart of the park, and there are three small trails, each less than a mile in length that intertwine throughout it. This is the place where I would spend my morning. And it was absolutely beautiful.
I decided on music instead of podcasts today. Listening to music while walking around gives my steps a subtle rhythm, even if I don’t mean it to. I spent nearly an hour wandering the trails in 4/4 time under a dense canopy of mature trees. The sun was bright, but the trees gave a lot of shade and kept the trails nice and cool. It was a good place to just appreciate, you know? To stop thinking about yourself and get caught up in the awesomeness of the world we live in. Even if you don’t believe that the Earth was necessarily created for you by God, walking around a place like this affirms the fact that it’s worth preserving regardless. Recycle, people. She’s worth it.
One of my favorite things about wandering the trails in a park is the people that you meet are friendlier 🙂 Walking down the street you pass a stranger and there’s an awkward moment where your eyes meet and you’re not sure if you should say hello or not. A smile will do. But on the trail, everyone I passed had a Hello or Good Morning for me. This is our park. It’s a friendly place to walk and enjoy. Everyone is welcome. I like that.
So what does this visit mean for me in the big picture, where is my life going sense? I don’t know. It’s a lovely way to spend a morning, a small walk down memory lane, and a breath of truly clean, fresh air that makes me feel accomplished and healthy. For now, that’s enough.
For anyone who is interested, I started using this cool pedometer app that I really love. It’s called Pedometer Free, and if you’re looking for this type of an app, I’d definitely recommend it.