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A Love Letter To National Parks

How They Bring Out The Best In Us

By Shea KeatingPublished 2 years ago 1 min read
Kenai Fjords National Park; Photo by Shea Keating

Windows down,

radio up,

pedal to the floor:

we’re driving this Chevy

somewhere new;

there’s lots of places to run to.

(Maybe the truth really is

you can never go home again.

Maybe that’s because

we’re already here.)

There are galaxies here,

sparkling above Great Sand Dunes.

There are Smoky Mountains

wrapped in fog,

mist tinted pink-gold

in the sunrise.

There are such peaks and valleys,

such brights and darks,

sometimes the awe of the view

takes your breath away.

They say that, don’t they,

say breathtaking

say awesome

like they’ve forgotten what the words mean.

Breathtaking is

standing on a cliff whose scale you can’t comprehend,

seeing things you’ll never be able to properly describe,

colors that pictures won’t capture,

sights that paint can’t mimic.

Awesome is

being struck silent in reverence,

feeling your whole body,

knowing you will never be standing in this moment

ever again,

so you’d better soak it in.

So we learn each other’s history like

Mesa Verde and Tortugas, like

Zion and Acadia and Isle Royale, like

Cuyahoga, Yosemite,

Kenai Fjords, Hovenweep,

Shenandoah, Sequoia.

So we learn the rainbow like

a drive through Yellowstone,

wandering through orange Arches,

a glimpse of tall Redwood trees,

seeing the Blue Ridges off in the distance;

listening to the Green River,

staring into a Black Canyon.

And maybe our Forests are Petrified;

maybe it is a Death Valley,

maybe they are Badlands

and Rocky Mountains,

but they’re ours, aren’t they?

We found rainbows and history,

mountains and caverns,

languages and cultures,

rivers and forests,

and somewhere along the way

we saw the best of all of us.

What we are, what we can be.

What it takes to be part of each other.


All the things that are better when we are.

With the windows down,

with the radio up,

with the pedal to the floor,

we found something bigger.

It’s us; we’re home.

Yosemite National Park; Photo by Shea Keating


About the Creator

Shea Keating

Writer, journalist, poet.

Find me online:

Twitter: @Keating_Writes

Facebook: Shea Keating

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