Owning a piece of the same homestead that my ancestors settled makes me a steward of this earth. Like my parents and grandparents, there are days when I am sweaty and exhausted from good honest work in the soil; there are days when I sit in my cushioned chair on the deck admiring the clouds. I am fortunate to have ”one foot in the city” and “one foot on the farm.”
Monday, February 20, 2012
A Good Day in Nature
I have read the books of author
Richard Louv for several years and confess they have had significant impact
upon me. Last Child in the Woods
points to what should be the obvious connection between childhood health and
the benefits of outdoor play. I thought he was right-on in promoting
exploration and fun in nature as a standard part of a child’s life.
expanded this theme to include the needs of adults. The Nature Principle is a
convincing presentation of research and ideas about the richness one receives
by being with nature, even for short time periods. When I read this book, I recommended it to
many others. Tied to my desk for years,
I knew in my gut that the world outside the window was where I was meant to be.
Now that I
have some free time, I try to structure new experiences in nature. Of course, I go on a daily walk, but that
isn’t a new experience. A good friend
who certified with me in the master naturalist program agreed to a pact that
once monthly, we would have a “nature day.”
On that day we would pick an activity and destination in nature and
simply “go play.”
we chose an Audubon “Eagle Watch” at a nature center about 40 miles from our
homes. The center manages a few miles of
river sandbars along the water which are a good vantage point for eagle
That day we
met about twenty new nature lovers, got some very good photographs, had a good
lunch and still had time to catch up on the news. This was a good example of a travel
destination that we “always meant to see, but never got around to.” Now I can say that we should have gone there
sooner. The nature center is a wonderful
resource for groups and the hiking trails are excellent. Of
course, we could choose many local nature sites as well, but we like the
challenge of a once-a-month trip.
I am convinced
new outdoor experiences are essential as you age. That day was brisk and a bit
windy, but the experience made me feel young and my thinking was clear. Lacking the muse to strike a line of poetry,
I borrowed the following. I think it
fits. Of course, its exactly what I meant to say.
I go to
nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses
put in order.