I think on everyone's daily checklist should be to spend at least 10 minutes outdoors. Not as in walking from store to car or from job to train as if nature were just a way station between other things in our lives but a destination (and not just a destination to 'work out' in) outside is a place to be in.
My husband and I love to take nice long walks outdoors and when we do, we go slow and intentional. During that time we see so much; the mushrooms or wild edibles we want to eat, snakes, birds, animals, silence, smells, wind, and sky. As we slowly make our way engaging in nature we are often buzzed by by people on their phones, on their ipods, on their heart rate monitors completely disconnected to the outrageous AMAZING awe inducing LIFE that is constantly unfurling around us in every nook and cranny possible.
To many, the outdoors feels like an empty space, but usually that is because we are not paying attention. I have seen people either individually or in groups walk right past a herd of deer not more than 10 feet away, who then only see them on the sides of highways or in managed parks. I have seen others almost mow down sunning snakes and frogs on their mountain bikes with their music way up loud--not seeing anything, not taking responsibility for their partnership in this moment and in this space. Because that is what it is, a partnership and when we opt out by not paying attention only we lose.
When was the last time your feet were not on concrete? When was the last time you felt total silence? Facebook, twitter, all the things that work to keep us connected are actually disconnecting us from the REAL world. Endeavouring to take at least 10 minutes a day to be in nature, to connect with the real planet helps to calm, to recenter, to understand ourselves as the humble animals we are. In our short and miraculous conscious lives we get to see the beautiful creation and recreation all around us. This connection is as important as love, as sanity as truth as everything.
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