For Therapy Seek the Open Spaces


Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.33.48 AM
Photo taken at the top of Whitetop Mountain, the second tallest peak in Virginia, a place along the Appalachian Trail


There’s just something freeing about being out in wide open spaces.

About a month ago, I went on a hiking trip along the Virginia stretch of the Appalachian Trail with some other college students from my church.

For most of the three-day hike we weaved through the secluded mountain trees, hidden beneath the shade of the woods. But every once in a while, we came out of the woods and were able to witness something utterly breathtaking; the wide open space of a spacious mountain view.

Experiencing open space has become so rare in today’s society. It is a special experience that you can typically find only on a mountain top or driving alongside rows and rows of fields out in the sticks.

The truth is that we are all creatures of habit in a closed off world. We live each day cramped up in our tiny little secluded spaces.

We travel each day in tiny little closed off cars, to work in tiny little closed off cubicles, ride in tiny little closed off elevators, and come home to our tiny little houses with neighbors so close you could practically stick your head out the window and spit to your neighbors house.

We also love to develop areas and cram stores and shopping centers into a small space, losing the luxury of being able to be out in the open. Of course, being so closed off is not all bad, but the point its really truly hard to get out and enjoy the open space, because there seems to be even less of it these days.

“The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we’ll start thinking of doing something about it.”

–Jim Fowler, American Zoologist, Scientist.

As I stood on the top of Mt. Whitetop, the second tallest peak in Virginia, and I could see for miles and miles every direction, I knew that it was a special experience, and the solidarity of it all was breathtaking. There are few times when you get to experience the free feeling of pure, utter, and complete openness.

The point of this story is that sometimes you need to get out away from it all. As I stood on top of that mountain looking out as far as my eyes could see in every direction it was like therapy for me.

I got away from literally everything that was on my mind, and it was great. I needed a few moments to just sit, look, and not do anything else. And I want everyone to be able to have an experience like that.

So the takeaway here:

After that experience, I began looking for other wide open spaces in my day. I realized from that its possible to find them everywhere, and that open space exists even in the busy spaces we live in every day.

An open space could be as simple as laying out in your yard and staring out at the blue sky, visiting the local park, or even just driving out to get away from it all.

Everyone needs to find their open spaces. They don’t have to be twenty miles into the woods, or out in the middle of nowhere. They simply just need to be found.

For me at school, it was at the Coker Arboretum, at home its sitting outdoors, or watching the sunset. Wherever it may be, it’s important that everyone finds their spaces to just sit and enjoy!

So I encourage everyone, city folk, country people, and the indoor lovers alike, take some time to go out and find your open spaces. They’re out there. Once you find them you’ll realize how good it is for you, I promise.

Another wide open space right here in North Carolina


Daily Challenge: Open

By: Jack Frederick




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