Good Morning: Take Time to Enjoy the World Around You

"Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand
art more and more."
Vincent Van Gough

Good morning! 

When my husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest, we discovered
a wonderful remedy for the over-stressed and overwhelmed family (or
our over-stressed and overwhelmed self!). Both of us had grown up
in scenic Wisconsin, but had never paid much attention to the
beautiful offerings that nature bestowed. When we moved to
Washington, we sought out explorations. One of our first stops was
an REI store where we picked up a book on hiking in the area. Soon
we visited Mt. St. Helens, Multnomah Falls and other notables of
nature.

This was 12 years ago and we have since returned to Wisconsin. At
that time, our daughter had just turned three, so we weren't able
to walk for miles or engage in serious hikes with her. Yet, we went
outside together; away from answering machines, phones and demands
and enjoyed some of the more simple pleasures of our planet. Nature
helps people to connect and rejuvenate--whether you explore nature
alone or with a group. 
 
Here are a few ideas for exploring nature around you:
 
Take a nightly walk. The benefits of incorporating regular exercise
are obvious, but a nightly walk also serves as a wonderful way to
unwind.
 
Start a routine of a weekly hike. Each weekend take an adventure
hike.
 
Nature walks. Use walks to encourage the interest of nature in
young children. Use field guides to identify plants, leaves, bugs,
birds and animals.
 
Portraits of nature. Use your walk to photograph your surroundings.
Let children take pictures of a regular path, to document the
different seasons of the year.
 
Your Turn: 
Whether it be one of the above ideas or one of your own, choose a
way to connect with nature this week!

Your Affirmation:
I am never too busy to connect with nature.

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