butterfly, photo by denise neuendorf
Photo by Denise Neuendorf

These unprecedented times have altered the daily routines that often fill our days and our minds. With our own personal worlds upturned, we can find ourselves uneasy today and uncertain about the future. As we navigate the current world, where can we go to sort through our thoughts?

Thankfully, our investments in the great outdoors can repay us in the most meaningful ways.

The outdoors gives us a destination beyond our homes. Across the state, those who were already active outdoors are going out more. And those who may have been unacquainted with the beauty of Tennessee, are exploring previously unknown gems a short drive from their home and discovering the amazing public lands and waters our state has to offer.

Nature calms and restores. Witnessing the stillness of a sunrise. Feeling the gentle sway of a rocking boat on the water. Hearing the creak of trees in a push of wind, or the calls of a songbird. Nature engages all of our senses.

Even if you don’t set out to experience these small doses of tranquility when you head outside, it’s almost guaranteed that your attention will be drawn to them for brief, but beautiful, moments.

For as short as they are, they can ground our perspectives while navigating the issues in the rest of our lives.

Collectively, we have conserved these lands and experiences because we inherently know that they restore and fulfill us. Despite differences, so many Tennesseeans have made our natural resources a priority.

Now when we need it most, we can be united by our love and support of wildlife, waters, and wild places.

Michael Butler is the CEO of Tennessee Wildlife Federation, one of the largest and oldest nonprofits dedicated to the conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources.


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