Finding peace in a changed world

There is something so calming about being outdoors, especially in the early morning just as the sun is about to rise. A natural silence falls across whatever type of neighborhood you live in, whether it’s the middle of downtown Knoxville or out in the countryside of Maryville. Amidst all that has changed this past year—the mask wearing, social distancing, working from home—the outdoors is the one place that hasn’t. It seems you can always count on it for daily serenity. 

But that’s the thing about nature, isn’t it? No matter how much we throw at it—the excitement and the chaos—the natural world remains resilient and unwilling to change who it is. It remains a place where we can venture to let go of our busy schedules and anxieties and simply exist. For some, it’s a morning row on the quiet river before the day breaks. For others, it’s a planned hike in the Smokies to feel “off-the-grid” if only for a few hours. Still for many, it is simply a step onto the back porch for a deep breath of fresh air to calm the nerves. 

However you experience the outdoors, one thing is for certain. Even if only for one short moment, you can truly let go and escape.    

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