Thank you for indulging my three-part introduction. Here’s hoping this conclusion wraps everything up neater than a pine tree bow! First, if you please, a relatively painless recap and a brief definition.
Part I launched this blog by presenting a symbolic cake that linked the founding of the National Park Service – an institution that champions and protects the wilderness I revere – with the birth year of the man who provided me guidance and nurturing, but who also felt that cake serves as an appropriate inducement to keep the children quiet anytime adults converse. (I’m not complaining. I ate the cake. I’m explaining that a major influence on my life didn’t want to talk to me until I was old enough to mow his lawn.)
Part II outlined that same cake’s jagged journey “from farm to table” (literally), while exposing a few knots in my family tree.
This introduction exists to explain, “What’s this blog all about?” I settled on two answers. Each answer includes the word “define.” I looked up the definition of “define” (just to help me bore you to tears) and found two definitions. Each one matches one of my answers, so here they are:
Definition of DEFINE1. state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of.2. mark out the boundary or limits of.
How National Parks Define Me
I set out to bake a tribute cake to the NPS Centennial using a traditional family recipe (also as an homage to my grandfather). The research uncovered surprising family history. The shopping, baking and decorating phases inspired creativity, pushed me far beyond my comfort zone and stretched my flexibility. I learned to work faster (I left out the part where I applied all the decorations and took photos in 15 minutes so I could make it to a car-refinancing appointment), let go of perfectionism (a little), and realized that what I have to say is as much my “voice” as is how I say it… but now I’m jumping the gun on my next answer.
CONCLUSION – Both through my adventures out in nature and my efforts to share those experiences with others here and elsewhere, national parks “mark out the boundaries of” who I am. Even better, they challenge me to grow and to give back.
How I Define National Parks
Doubtless there exists an abundance of blogs and resources about national parks, camping, and so on, but there is only one me and only one you. Our experiences are unique and personal. I intend to use writing, quotes, food, art, photographs, poems, music, anything to translate my stories and observations and interests into entertaining and tangible forms, share them, and prompt a conversation. I want my inspiration to inspire you, and vice-versa.
CONCLUSION – In order to “state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of” national parks, I intend to explore personal connections. I will tell you what they mean to me. What do they mean to you?
Wait. Let me clear a path for you first!
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.