Fellow hikers, does this sound familiar? I have certainly been there.
Usually I love hiking. Being outdoors, observing the plants and animals, pondering the geology and topography – these things just make me happy.
But occasionally I find myself on a hike that I’m not really enjoying in the moment. Maybe the weather is miserable – too cold and rainy or too damned hot. Or maybe it’s just me, whatever is going on in my body or life that prevents me from appreciating the moment.
Consistently, though, I still feel better afterwards. It turns out this isn’t a fluke. In The Nature Fix (previously mentioned here!), Florence Williams says that the research shows that even when we don’t enjoy ourselves in nature, it is still good for us.
So go ahead, go outdoors and have a miserable time, you’ll feel better later!
“Our nervous systems are built to resonate with set points derived from the natural world.”
– Florence Williams, The Nature Fix
In her book the Nature Fix, author Florence Williams says that the Finnish recommend being in nature for 5 hours a month to reap health benefits. That seems like a pretty good thing to add to a New Year’s Resolution list – just an hour and fifteen minutes a week spending time outdoors in a non-urban setting. Personally, I think 1.25 hours a day would be a better goal, but start small and dream big! Continue reading
“How happy I am to be able to walk among the shrubs, the trees, the woods, the grass and the rocks! For the woods, the trees and the rocks give man the resonance he needs.”
– Ludwig van Beethoven, 1808
Author, Professor, Botanist and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Robin Wall Kimmerer asked her students this question one day: You love nature but do you think that nature loves you back? Her students, all very respectful of the earth, had never thought about it that way. I bet most of us haven’t either! Continue reading