The Twin Cities has to be the best metro area for having a large amount of nature within the city limits. Plenty of cities have a lot of great outdoor spaces around them--mountains, oceans, etc.--but few have such a large amount of "wilderness" within the city. Part of it was the vision by early Minneapolis parks and recreation leaders to keep the land around all of the lakes public. Having all the lakes and the Mississippi River really helps the cause, but the area did a good job of setting aside and reclaiming wild spaces.
I spent most of the afternoon at some parks. Sitting by the lake reading, hiking through a grassland, enjoying God's creation. The wilderness is one of those places where I go to recharge and to feel connected to God.
I was reflecting on how I feel that connection because God's creation reflects His creativity, beauty, awesomeness and goodness. He is present everywhere, of course, but in the middle of the city consumerism and self-centeredness are more noticable.
So while many times I long for the wide open spaces of the country, I am thankful to live in a metro area where wilderness is present. Even in the park across the street I can forget about the urban sprawl that surrounds me.
And my spirit is refreshed (and I got some good exercise, too).