Lately, when I head out on the trail that meanders through my neighborhood, I think about gratitude. The rushing creek, towering trees, and blooming mountain laurel never fail to put me in a grateful state of mind.
In an effort to notice and maximize gratitude, I’ve been considering my favorite moments from the previous days so that I can appreciate them and, if possible, build similar moments into my future. My latest list looked something like this:
- eFoiling at Lake Jocassee; soaring across the lake on an electric-powered board fulfilled all of my surfer girl fantasies.
- Yoga with a View at Conestee Nature Preserve, breathing deeply on a lakeside dock while watching cattails sway and turtles splash.
- Checking out planets and constellations with my son, both of us in pajamas, sitting at the end of our driveway well after bedtime.
It occurred to me that the vast majority of my peak moments have something in common: they take place outside. That’s where I, like so many others, find beauty, adventure, excitement, serenity, and connection.
If you’re looking to add more fulfillment to your summer, our Outdoors Issue is packed with ideas, whether you prefer rough-and-tumble pursuits or more leisurely experiences. For action and excitement, you could hike the entire 77-mile Foothills Trail, like our writer did, or you could “rough it” in style with the unique lodging at Emberglow Outdoor Resort in Mill Spring, NC. Or maybe you’d rather take a leisurely drive to a no-frills roadside produce stand, or simply take in the world from a comfortable spot on your front porch.
No matter where the sunny season takes you, don’t forget to make time for the things that add joy and gratitude to your days. And if all else fails, just step outside.