Sunday before last, the family and I headed to Radnor Lake for a hike. Nashvillians may remember that this Sunday felt much more like spring than mid February, and people were out in droves. It was so busy, in fact, that the main parking lot by the entrance to the Lake Trail was full, and we had to park in the back of the lot of the church on the corner of Granny White Pike and Otter Creek. No matter. The six of us had plenty of company as we strolled toward the park, phones and cameras in hand, and talking of riddles and who would solve them.
Radnor Lake State Park is over 1,000 acres of protected land right inside the Forest Hills residential area of the city. The main trail that wraps around the lake is 1.35 miles long and is meant for walking, nature watching, and breathing in the forrest air. There are wonderful parks in the area for runners and cyclists, but make no mistake, this is not one of them! It is, however, an ideal spot for a newly combined family such as ours to do a little bonding while enjoying an unseasonably warm Sunday afternoon.
On the drive over, my very bright, high school-age stepdaughter, Samantha, informed the rest of the vehicle that she had a riddle for us, but that her younger brother would need to be her co-conspirator. Consequently, as we entered the trail, the two of them lagged behind and went over things as my wife and two boys, ages 13 and 11, walked ahead, wondering what was in store.
Once we got the rules, we all huddled up and Sam informed us to think of a movie, tv show, or music group, but one that she and her brother are familiar with. We did: Harry Potter. Santiago was out of ear shot, roughly 20 feet away. "Okay, we got it!" she called out to him. Then we all walked slowly along the mulch-covered trail, listening to her as she "told him what we said."
"I went to Haiti. And I stayed there for one day. Then I went to Rhode Island. Then I went to Rhode Island again, and I stayed there for six days. Then I took a business trip to Portland..."
"Harry Potter," Santi answered.
But how did he know?!
Topic after topic, we repeated this process for two hours as we took in the sights, sounds, and smells of the trail. (My older son, Matt, finally cracked the code in its entirety toward the end of our journey--the person paying the least attention as the rest of us racked our brains!)
No, what we did does not qualify as moderate aerobic activity. Not even close. But we certainly weren't being sedentary, either. We weren't sitting around staring at our screens in separate rooms of the house, as we too-often find ourselves doing. We were on our feet, outside, together. We were using our bodies and minds and in a social way: physical, intellectual, and interpersonal wellness. And we were enjoying one of the area's great natural resources (environmental wellness) as we took hundreds more steps, literal and metaphorical, toward being one big, happy family.