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What are you thinking?

Notes from Anythink's director

“People are happy, healthy and safe.” – Anythink Strategic Plan 2018-2022

One of the things that I love about summer is a chance to relax with friends and family. Whether it is a simple family picnic, a hike in the mountains or a chance to go fishing. I still remember camping trips with my family. I especially love the summer that we went fishing at Twin Lakes, near Aspen, and I was the only one to catch a fish – not bad for a girl growing up with three younger brothers. One of my favorite parts of going fishing was having a chance to be quiet, perched on a rock or a log, surrounded by nature. Sometimes, I would just bring a book to read while watching everyone else maneuver the water, the fishing poles, the lures, waiting patiently for something or nothing to happen. Summer is the time to let the mind wander, to daydream, to puzzle the questions of the universe.

This year’s summer program centers on the outdoors. When you participate in mySummer, you receive a gift certificate towards admission to any of our Colorado state parks. Our closest state park in Adams County is Barr Lake in Brighton –  a great place for hiking, boating and fishing. The walk around the lake is just under nine miles, and there’s so much wildlife to discover. A birdwatcher’s paradise, you might even get a glimpse of the resident bald eagles.

One of my favorite state parks is Eldorado Canyon in Boulder County. I am not a rock climber, but I am always in awe as I watch the climbers perform miracles as they traverse the steep terrain. The park’s Streamside Trail along Boulder Creek is an easy stroll. My family likes to walk the Fowler Trail with our dog, Simon, with excellent views of the canyon and rock climbers.

Spending time in nature is not only relaxing, it also makes us happier, healthier and more creative, according to Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix. Finnish researchers say that being in nature for just five hours a month can make you happier overall. Even a short walk outdoors helps boost physical and mental health.

Anythink’s Nature Explore gardens are designed to encourage our community – and especially kids – to spend more time outdoors. The backyard of Anythink Wright Farms is a respite within our city and always open for anyone who wishes to stroll through the gardens, sit outside with a cup of coffee or bring a picnic for your family. This is also the site of our Backyard Concert Series, now in its sixth year. During the August concert, we will once again host our beloved Hazel Miller. Last year, over 400 people danced to the music, grabbed a drink and a bite to eat during Hazel’s concert. We all loved this so much that we cheered when we booked her again this summer.

There is something special about taking time to celebrate summer, watching children dance and chase bubbles as the sun sets. Part of that special feeling is a chance to sit next to our neighbors as we pull up a lawn chair or set out a blanket to settle in for an evening guaranteed to make you smile, and forget your to-do lists.

– Pam Sandlian Smith, Anythink Director

Send your questions or feedback to ithink@anythinklibraries.org or post in the comments below.