How’s this for a paradox? I am going to use my computer today to tell you about the many benefits of spending time outdoors in the natural world. You likely already know this – you crave the sun on your face or the feel of soft earth underfoot. Think of the joy in watching a child run after butterflies, or running after them yourself, and consider that this natural freedom and engagement is important to our overall well-being and humanity.
Henry David Thoreau experienced the healing powers of nature at Walden Pond, and John Burroughs at Slabsides. Great thinkers from Aristotle to E. O. Wilson have used the term biophilia to describe what is in essence our deep love for life. Cynics might point out that the environmental crisis suggests otherwise, but Wilson hypothesizes that there is an instinctive and inescapable bond between us and other living systems. This is both biological and spiritual in nature, and it explains why we love our pets and our gardens and the notion of wilderness. It explains why I keep getting pulled out my office door to find what bird is calling. (I think we are seeing the first fall migrants on this cool morning.)
Just look at these happy faces on our preserve volunteers!
If you’ve had enough time at your screen and want to get outside, stop reading now and go for a hike at one of our many preserves in Pound Ridge (map). To learn more about ways to engage yourself and your family in free-range discovery and other games and activities for life-long love of nature, you can attend our free workshop tomorrow at the Armstrong Preserve & Education Center (directions), from 2 to 4pm. The public is invited to share ideas and to tour the outdoor classrooms on the Preserve on what looks to be a beautiful summer afternoon. Please contact me for more information or visit our website at www.prlc.net.