it’s a great day [Bear Brook State Park]

“It’s a great day to be at Bear Brook!”

-Dave Brush, education director at Bear Brook State Park

visit your sister=get put to work!
fun fact: we’re Dr. Who fans [Pandorica Restaurant; Beacon, NY]

After a short weekend and rejuvenating trip to see my sister in New York, I was back at Bear Brook. We went through our usual Monday routine, but something was different in the air. Maybe it was the hint of spring.

Bear Brook? No, that’s Bear Mountain!
Spring? Maybe?

I sat on the couch that had been exiled from inside. It now resided on the front porch. I heard the murmur of voices coming from inside the lodge and the talkative voices of the birds outside. Which birds? You could ask, but I couldn’t tell you. Usually, what I could tell you is that I felt the sun shining on my face and a sense of stillness and calm. Usually, I saw the moss on the office gleaming in the sun and felt the freshness in the air.

However, today my answer would be different.

“It is NOT a good day to be at Bear Brook,” said my grumpy mind. I missed being with my sister, I was hungry and I hadn’t slept well. The weather outside was trying its last attempt at winter. The temperature had dropped. I wasn’t having any of it.

After meeting up with my teaching group, I went back ito my cabin, and wrote in my journal in an attempt to get ready for the month. I let my mind wander. I thought about the dreary weather, and was thankful we weren’t staying in tents. That made me think harder.

Because I have lived in a tent, while working outside in the rain. And you know what? I was just fine. I loved it. I know this because I keep seeking it out, keep seeking new opportunities to be able to live a lifestyle that keeps me outside.

It is a great day to be at Bear Brook, I realized. Every day it brings something new: a change in the way the birds sing or a change in season (and sometimes back again!). While I hope to be able to live like this indefinitely, this is a unique experience that I might never have again. Having the forest as my front and back yard is something I’ve always craved, with endless exploration and trails at my fingertips.

You might be reading this in envy, but you can find your own Bear Brook. Just go outside–close your eyes and listen. Listen to the birds, be aware of the sun shining on your nose, and take it all in.

This post is part of a series focused on Karlie’s ten-month conservation posting with Bear Brook State Park through The Student Conservation Assocation. It lasts from January 2018 and ends October 2018. During that time, she and her co-workers provide education outreach to local Concord Schools, maintain worker facilities on state park land, and work to maintain trails and local animal habitats.

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