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The Poetic Nature of National Parks

By: Lea McDowell Our national parks are pure poetry--an unfiltered, preserved memory of the past and beaming look into the future. These protected lands give us the ability to walk amongst history, to work with the elements and not conquer, but savor the journey. Poet Sylvia Plath said it best in The Bell Jar : “I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery-air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”  To be in nature is to be in a poem, an ancient sacred text written through the falling leaves, the rivers dancing over stones, a patch of wildflowers having returned after a frigid winter, the winter itself freezing everything in its rightful place and teaching us to slow down and savor the rest offered to us in colder months.  National parks offer a plethora of take-your-breath-away scenery. Be it at El Capitan in the expansive Yosemite National Park on the wild and vast Pacific coast, or the rolling mountains of Appalachia where Harpers Ferry Nation

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