Do you go fly fishing to catch fish or so you can go fly fishing? -From Max Anderson
Why do we like fishing or camping or parks or back yard grill outs? Why do we like trees and vines and bird feeders? One answer: they are actually good for us. Sometimes we just need to be outside.
Nature can teach us a lot about ourselves and our place in the world. In our often humanist culture, we like to think we can control everything. We just need to crack the code or get enough data and we will be able to “fix our problems”. We like our life at 71 degrees Fahrenheit, so we set our house thermostat. We start our cars with a remote and we use our phone to make sure our office is at the correct temperature. But God forbid, we have to walk from our front door to the car…that’s 15 seconds outside. It’s freaking hot. We sweat. We complain.
One of my favorite words: cultivate. I am in a season of life that cultivation really fits. To cultivate implies patience and consistent, measured input. Plants need cultivation. Relationships need cultivation. Marriages and children need cultivation. Community needs cultivation. Everything is a little different. There are best practices, but there are really no perfect formulas. Patience and consistent, measured input based on observation.
Nature is a welcome reminder that we really can’t control the world around us. (I feel like my toddler teaches me this same lesson daily, but that is a story for a different day.)
Nature can teach us other things as well. It reminds us that we are small. It reminds us that simple beauty can’t be bought.
Is it any surprise then that exposure to nature can also have measurable health benefits? This is a relatively new field of research. Scientists are finding a lot of interesting things.
“Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available, and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost,” the researchers wrote in their paper. It exists, they continued, and it’s called “interacting with nature.” – see articles below.
Here are links to two separate articles that talk about the research and what it means. Beware…the national geographic article has some edgy photos…
Some of my favorite takeaways:
- People spend less time outdoors than in their car.
- A walk in the woods can cause a 16 percent decrease in cortisol (hormone that produces stress).
- People are getting prescriptions to “go walk in a park”
- People that have more trees on their street are healthier.
- People who spend more time in nature are measurably happier.
- In a recent study, some 70 percent of U.S. mothers reported that they played outside every day as children; only 31 percent of their children do
Why am I telling you this?
- It’s important to your health. It’s also important for our kids.
- We want you to use more of our services ????. We can plant trees and plants and generally make your yard a better place to spend your time.
- When you are less stressed, we get less irritated calls. That’s always nice.
- Nature is a valuable and beautiful thing. It helps us understand the world around us and man’s place in it.