“Go out, go out I beg of you, And taste the beauty of the wild. Behold the miracle of the earth with all the wonder of a child.” – Edna Jaques
Getting outside to nature cures all things. Stress, fogginess, illness—all are tempered or eliminated by getting deep into nature. When I’m not feeling well, the first thing I try to do is get out into the cold, crisp New Hampshire air and breathe deeply. Inevitably this is the beginning of recovery.
Driving around California tor 11 days, I was most at home in the wildest places. The rugged coastlines, the redwood forests and the dunes of Marin all served to restore whatever was lost in city traffic. Even in Los Angeles, there are mountains around you that make you believe nature isn’t far away… if only that smog wasn’t pressing down on you so relentlessly. New England is the same in many ways (though thankfully without the smog). The ocean rules the coastline, the mountains and the forests rule the interior. Cities are full of modern wonder but also a fair share of ugliness. Step away when you can, for it’s only in nature that we find balance.
If there’s irony in writing this post, it’s that I came inside from a walk to do it. But that’s the tradeoff we all make, isn’t it? Work, family time and the constant draw of screens keep us indoors more than we ought to be. There’s a place for the indoor life, but it shouldn’t dominate your life. Shouldn’t tasting the wild dominate our time? It seems to me that getting outside is the only way to find your center. And the more time you’re away from the outdoors, the more unbalanced we become.