A Spring Walk Around Downtown Crown, Maryland
There is so much beauty outside. You just have to be willing to go out and embrace it! I often have to remind myself of this. It’s found in the curiosity of the eye, or the expressions on people’s faces, but it’s also found in those little things of life - the simplicity of sunshine, the dashes of colors in outfit choices, the light glistening in a fountain, or the adventurous heart looking for the next activity to feed it’s soul. The spring season is an event in itself, and the outdoors is filled with inspiration and life!
People-watching, without being obvious, of course, has always been a fun activity! I love spending time "running" around town on a beautiful day, or exploring places with family and friends. I think it’s so important for us to step away from our technology now and then, and take a look around us. Walk is a relaxing and healthy activity not just for families and friends but also for newlyweds, engaged couples, or even couples in general - especially if you're going through the stress of wedding planning. It’s time to go out exploring, hand-in-hand, and take in the sunshine. Aside from other health benefits of walking, my favorite is improved mood. I would take walking outside over running at the gym any day. Personally, I enjoy walking. Downtown Crown in Maryland has been a recent favorite neighborhood. I have come to appreciate what the neighborhood has to offer.
Downtown Crown boasts an array of shops and restaurants - bridal shops, arts and crafts store, grocery shop, coffee and wine shops, and gyms. Tucked away is a little French experience - a neighborhood bakery called la Madeleine. I’ve dined here many times, but I was ignorant to their food-, culture-, and community-background or tradition! The more I learned, the more I experienced a feeling of nostalgia. How so? It took me back to my experience in Paris - where people enjoyed life at a lingering pace… a cup of coffee, croissant, or a French pastry. And there was something else to this feeling. I grew up in a family where the heart of the home revolved around the kitchen. Feasting and family gatherings were an everyday scene. You could choose to see these as a waste of time or as precious moments to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. I have come to appreciate la Madeline’s notion of “gathering,” as expressed by its owner:
As the pace of life increases, we often find less time to enjoy the simple pleasure of a meal together. At la Madeleine we believe eating is an important social and community activity. There is no substitute for lengthy, unhurried conversation around a table with family and friends. It is at those times that our joie de vivre, or joy of life, is most exuberant.
That very sentiment resonated deeply with me. Although it's nothing like being in Paris, at la Madeline, I was able to retreat from the world outside, and for a few moments, enjoyed being nostalgic… as I learned about their background and shared a delicious fruit tart with a friend. Often, life is in the little things and you have to step out and be present to savor the best in life. Do you want to be inspired by your senses? Then go out and experience life. You’d be surprised what you can find and feel.
The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart - Helen Keller
Bon Appetit and Au Revoir!
Photography: Michelle Whitley