When I need to re-kindle my sense of optimism, I head into the outdoors. It’s there, amongst family and friends, and dirt and trees, that I’m reminded of all that I hold dear about my community and this great (and messy and flawed and striving) country of ours.

Now, due to COVID-19, as I log miles in Tilden Park, I see folks of every race, creed, class and color, all re-kindling their own optimism, all rejuvenated by the healing power of Mother Nature.

She washes away, if only for a moment, the stresses that divide us: the twin pandemics of COVID and racism, our polarized politics, our social media squabbles. It is there amongst the trees that I realize that there is still far more, even in 2020, that can unite us than divide us.

So, as we head into the waning weeks of 2020, I wish for myself, and each of you: more time together in the outdoors, more time building community, more time as our best selves.

Wishing you a holiday season filled with the smell of pine and the joy of community. It might feel like all we’ve got – but now more than ever, it’s a gracious plenty.

Missy Signature

Missy Park