Finding Peace in the Outdoors

When moving to Pennsylvania, I was excited for the opportunity to live in the city of Harrisburg but knew I was going to miss the lakeside house that I called home in Michigan. Spending time outdoors became significantly more important to me throughout this past season of life as opportunities to see friends and go out places became very limited. Going for walks became one of my biggest sources of energy and entertainment during the initial phase of quarantine. During the summer months, I was blessed by the opportunity the outdoors offered me. Whether it was a run on a dirt road, a paddle board ride with my dog, or a sunset tour on the boat, there was always something to do and see. I became spoiled by the beauty of the water, the feelings of serenity it gave me and the beauty it provided every day. As I prepared for my move from Michigan to Pennsylvania, I cherished and savored every last swim or evening I spent by the lake knowing I would miss it more than I realized. 

Although I have lived in many cities before and love the activity and life that they have, I had become accustomed to the trees as my only neighbors. When I arrived in Harrisburg in August and began moving my things into the Sycamore House, I was surprised by the beauty of the Susquehanna River and the views that our new home has to offer. As I began to get acclimated with the city, I found myself taking walks to City Island, on the Green Belt, and just down by the river. It was a wonderful way to see new parts of Harrisburg and the people that call it home.

Fast forward a couple months and I have found myself in quarantine for the past few weeks due to exposure to COVID-19 and the precautions of my work. Although I have been kept from going places and seeing people, I have found it safe and comfortable to get outside as much as possible, while still keeping my distance. In the morning, the afternoon, or evening the riverwalk is always somewhere I find rest and energy. On days when it seems easier to just stay inside and watch another show or waste another hour, I will force myself to get outside and just walk. I know that it will be good for me mentally, physically, and emotionally. 

Even from inside, the beauty of the river and the colors of the sun tend to shine through the windows and brighten up the space. While working or studying, being able to look at the view of the river from the many windows of this house is so rewarding. It has not been the easiest transition to move to a new city while so much of everyday life still does not feel normal. But the beauty of the river and the small bits of nature that surround the Sycamore House have been a pleasant and surprising gift to have here in the city. I truly believe in the benefit of living near water and spending time outdoors, and I am thankful to have the riverwalk and views of the Susquehanna to enjoy everyday. 

2 thoughts on “Finding Peace in the Outdoors”

  1. Beautiful pictures, Emily! I especially like the ones you framed through windows. Interesting to imagine the view from those same windows changing over the past 150 years, and what the river has meant to different people living in that house.

  2. Walks along the Susquehanna are one of my favorite activities- at least 4 times a week. Of course, I have a ground hog stalking dog to keep me company!

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