Hit the trail…

 “Keep your love of nature, for that is the true way to understand art more and more.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Good morning! When my husband and I lived in the Pacific Northwest, we discovered a wonderful remedy for the overstressed and overwhelmed family (or our overstressed and overwhelmed selves!). 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 exploration opportunities. One of our first stops was an REI store, where we picked up a book on hiking in the area. Soon we visited Mount St. Helens, Multnomah Falls, and other notables of nature.

We moved back to Wisconsin when our daughter was three. While we weren’t able to walk for miles as a family once we got back home, we continued to regularly go outside, away from answering machines, phones, and demands, and enjoy some of the more simple pleasures of our planet. Nature helps people to connect and rejuvenate-whether alone or within 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 and wish on a star!

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 is one of the above ideas or one of your own, choose a way to connect with nature this week!

Today’s Affirmation: I take the time to see and enjoy the beauty outside.

Inspirations: Hit the trail… The first Saturday of each June marks National Trails Day, sponsored by the American Hiking Society. Since 1993, National Trails Day has grown to inspire many thousands of people to enjoy trails on the same day nationwide. Learn more about the event, register a hike in your area, or find local trails by visiting www.americanhiking.org.


Hit the trail… — 2 Comments

  1. WOW! I wish I could walk like you’re suggesting! It sounds relaxing – even reading it makes me feel good. However, the heat here in North Carolina is unbearable! However, you’ve got me thinking and I can walk inside and still get the exercise! Thanks for the motivation!

  2. I LOVE this idea. Throughout my marriage I was pretty much “trapped” indoors. I wasn’t really allowed to have friends and so since the divorce I’ve had difficulty meeting new people. I did connect with a very nice family however and they often invite me on their outings. I used to huff and puff to keep up with them, but I feel myself getting stronger and healthier and I am thrilled.

    This past Memorial Day they invited me to join them for a hike around Multnomah Falls. I think I had forgotten how beautiful nature can be.

    It is sometimes a struggle for me to get my kids away from their video games, but I know how important it is, so I’ll fight that battle.

    Thank you Brook for this reminder!

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