Health

Belle Isle taps into yearning for physical, mental healing with ParkRx

Lansing — “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”

Henry David Thoreau, one of America’s most celebrated Transcendentalist philosophers and writers, once went into the woods to “live deliberately.” He and so many others throughout history have escaped modern luxuries and gone back to their roots, literally, to find a sense of infinite calm and meaning.

Thomas Merton, an American Trappist monk, mystic and writer of the 1950s and 1960s, observed modern human behavior in distaste, insisting: “The city people prefer a stubborn and fabricated dream. They do not care to be a part of the night, or to be merely of the world.”

Lower Tahquamenon Falls

And perhaps this separation between people and the wild is a choice, but for some, it’s a socioeconomic struggle. Whether it be buying proper gear, a park pass or getting time off work, it’s not always accessible to everyone.

“If you can’t afford to put food on your table, why would you buy a Metro Park pass?” said Michele Keller, a clinical social worker specialist in Rochester.

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