Living here in Orlando, Florida, hopping a park means something entirely different than it does across most of the rest of the world. Here for us to park-hop means to go from Disney to Disney Studios to EPCOT to Animal Kingdom. This can be fun but it also sort of stressful and really, really hot during the summer.
For most of the rest of the world, hopping a park means going to some place you can relax and enjoy your day with a picnic or just laying out in the shade. Parks are genuinely beautiful. They are nature’s way of telling us to slow down and enjoy mother nature, even if it’s man made!
It’s a place to reflect or just let your mind go free. A chance to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy a nice refreshing breeze. Maybe go boating, or swimming, or play volleyball. To enjoy the company of those around you.
I don’t know if there is anything as refreshing as jumping into a body of water to cool down on those really hot days. Floating leisurely around a lake as the sun sets and diving off wooden platforms into crystal clear water… now that’s the life!
Some parks have been the site of some past not-so-pleasant historic events. It may have been where a Civil War or Revolutionary War battle took place. These sites seem particularly quiet as people pay reverence to those who fell on the field.
The main thing is to just get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
You might want to wear a little sunscreen and wear a hat and sunglasses (seeing how it is UV Safety Month). Shorts and t-shirts are just fine, you don’t need to dress up – the trees won’t care.
How to celebrate: Look for parks in your area where you can spend some time. Plan a picnic for your friends and family. Go for a walk by yourself and get your thoughts together.
There was a time when going fishing meant getting supper for the night. Not so much anymore, it’s become a sporting event more than proving a meal for the family. Most fishermen I know throw the fish back in the water after catching it, hoping the next time they go fishing they will catch a bigger fish and have a harder challenge. Since fish don’t supposedly feel the pain, fishing has become a more humane sport. I am not sure anybody actually asked the fish that. There is something about the calm and quiet of fishing, it becomes a time when we can think and reflect on life and get in touch with nature. In fact I know a lot of people who go fishing that hope they don’t even catch a fish!
How to celebrate – Go fishing. Learn what fish it is you are trying to catch. Enjoy being in nature.
One of the world’s most loved pastimes is hiking the trails that nature has provided (And generally man has created). Trails are often human made roads, of a sort, made by foot traffic covering the same path over time. Visit practically any park or forest and you will find some kind of hiking trail for you to explore. They are generally safe to travel on, some having been there for hundreds of years. Since the weather is generally better now and people are beginning to be able to get out and enjoy nature, exploring trails can be both exciting and healthy exercise for you.
How to celebrate – Go for a walk. Travel a famous trail. Enjoy nature.
May 22nd International Day for Biological Diversity
Wow, that’s a mouthful! Today is used to study and utilize all that is biological, which covers practically everything! This year’s theme is “Our solutions are in nature.” The subject matters will include the ecosystems, water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter and energy, among other things. Doesn’t that just about cover it all!?! This day was created by the General Assembly in the UN in 1993. Since it seems to cover everything on the face of the earth I wish them luck with just one day to deal with it all!
How to celebrate – Visit the UN. Learn what biological diversity actually means. Come to an understanding of how everything on the face of the earth must work in unity.
There are actually a lot of trees used for Christmas but the Evergreen is probably the most cherished and best recognized. The tree is not only beautiful but lives for a good length of time, even after being cut down. Over the years, many families have gone out to the woods and looked for their own Evergreen tree to celebrate Christmas with. It is frowned upon today and during the season they appear on nearly every street corner so the need isn’t really necessary. (Not sure it ever really was) And so, for a self-serving pitch, I offer my short story; “Why The Evergreen’s Stay Green” as a story about the original “Christmas Tree”. It’s available on Amazon and it’s cheap. And I think a really good little story.
How to celebrate – Find your Christmas tree on your own this year. (Don’t get caught cutting it down though) Find out why the Evergreen was selected as the Christmas Tree. Read, “Why the Evergreen’s Stay Green.”
December 14th International Monkey Day
Man tends to put every animal on earth beneath himself. The monkey comes closest but we still treat them as though we are better than them. We hunt them, abuse them, and use them for our own amusement. There is something wrong with that. Today we celebrate the lifes of monkeys, apes, tarsiers, and lemurs. We should celebrate all wildlife and let it live as it chooses, not as what entertains us. Today was originally created as a joke by Casey Sorrow who put it on a friend’s calendar. Who knew it would go international?
How to celebrate – Go on safari and see the monkey in nature (doesn’t have to be Africa by the way). See how many different breeds of monkey you can name. Learn about Koko and her kitten.
Anybody can eat indoors. We do it all the time, morning, afternoon and night. Sometimes the weather keeps us from eating outside, it’s too hot or it’s too cold and those days are ahead of us. So if you want to go outside and eat, today is the day to do it. Food just seems to taste better when you are in nature. Maybe because most of our food comes from nature. Hearing the birds sing, feeling the warmth of the sun are appealing. Fighting off the bugs, rain and snow do put a damper on the day but it’s August so hopefully you won’t run into any of that. I think most of us call eating outside a picnic, although you can cook a meal and eat it in your front yard if you choose. Besides, ants really need your help.
How to celebrate – Have a picnic. Have breakfast in your backyard. Have a cook-out!
May 18th International Museum Day
Museums remind of us of where we have been, and possibly show us where we are going as well. Things we just can’t live without today had to come from somewhere and generally those proto-types can be found in museums all over the world. Of course, museums also teach us about animals and nature as well. This day was created in 1977 by the International Council of Museums.
How to celebrate – Visit a museum. Look for all the antiques
in your house. Donate historical items
you no longer want to a museum so that others can enjoy them.
Today is not really a world wide holiday, but maybe it should be. It has a mixed message since it was created in 1989 to celebrate the birth of Emperor Hirohito in Japan. I am not exactly sure what Hirohito has to do with greenery, guess I need to look that up, but it is a day we can all go out and enjoy mother nature who seems to have a favorite color of green. Now that winter is long behind us (Hopefully) we can actually go out and enjoy the green no mater what country we come from. Nature, after-all, provides more beauty than any other natural thing in life. If this is Hirohito’s birthday celebration then we can celebrate his birthday as well… though with his reign, Japan created some of the ugliest scenes imaginable during World War 2. Hirohito did surround himself with beautiful, lush gardens… perhaps never knowing the ugly world his Generals created in his name.
How to celebrate – Get out into nature. Visit Japan. Help save a rain forest.
This is an interesting day, it celebrates the spectacular. However what truly is spectacular is the fact that today is just… today. It does not belong to anyone, it belongs to us all. So as you go through your day you need to take note of those spectacular things the world offers, not just to you, but to us all. Things like sunsets, moonlight, blue skies, majestic mountains… all the things God created for us to enjoy that we so often see but do not comprehend.
How to celebrate – Find all the things that we all own. Enjoy people. Look for the good things in life.