Resolution for 2010: Spend More Time in Nature

Happy New Year, Dear Friends!

As we leave the holiday season and swing into 2010, I have many resolutions that involve improved health, balance, time with loved ones, and calm. Foremost among them, and the act that can really enhance all of the above, is spending more time in nature.

Richard Louv, Founder and Chairman of the Children & Nature Network, has done a great deal of work linking time spent in nature with great improvements in health, cognition, creativity and well-being. Of course most of us know and experience this — All one needs to do is step outside, take a walk, breathe deeply and look around. Of course there’s a rich, unique experience to be had in the moment, as well, while we’re busy accumulating benefits and filling the well of our own capacity for wonder and awe.

Over the holidays, good friends held a hiking party, which was a superb, healthy, uplifting alternative to an indoor gathering. The weather, which had threatened rain, held out. The spot was the breathtaking Ring Mountain Preserve in Tiburon, CA, which I wrote about when I visited at wildflower time. And the host had prepared (and hiked in!) a veritable feast of holiday foods and hot Toddies and chocolate, which we enjoyed along with great company.

While not every gathering is going to have this confluence of fortune (I’d be hard-pressed to pull off one to this degree), I took with me a great deal of inspiration and creativity as I headed back down the mountain, the smaller kids still running around up top. Sure, why not have an outdoor party when everyone else is indoors? Why not get ourselves and our friends out in nature, to enjoy the bounty of beauty and fun that is so available and so often overlooked? Whether it’s a local park, a short trail, a community garden, or a backyard fortress, nature is somewhere near you and ready to fill the well of awe.

Photos: Susan Sachs Lipman

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9 responses to “Resolution for 2010: Spend More Time in Nature

  1. What a great idea for a holiday party and kudos to the person who hiked in the treats!

    One year we had my son’s birthday at a Forest Service cabin. We spent the day sledding, skiing and playing in the snow, then came inside for chili and cupcakes. He was only one, so the party was more for me than him!

  2. Hi Mel! Thanks for your comment and enthusiasm, as ever! I agree — it was a fantastic idea and a great effort (though my modest friends would say it wasn’t.) More than once that day I thought about all the people at the malls.

    I love the party you had for your son. It sounds absolutely perfect! A snow play day and then warm food and treats. Couldn’t be better. Hopefully, he’ll have some older birthday parties like that, too. Who says you have to celebrate inside just because you have a winter birthday?

  3. Great photos! My favorite quote is one you might enjoy: ‘Oxygen into your lungs, brings fresh hope into your heart.’ (I, unfortunately, don’t know who to credit for this one…)

  4. Hi Kate! What a great quote, and so true. Thanks so much. The pictures on your blog are outstanding and your ’09 resolution reconciling is inspiring! I’ll be keeping in touch to see what else you’re growing and doing.

  5. Outstanding pictures! thanks for the follow on twitter and link to your site! Can’t wait to check out the magnificent coming this next year!

  6. Hi Shannon, Welcome! I love your blog. It’s full of inspiration, beauty, energy and practical tips. I added it to my Blogroll, along with the newly added High Altitude Gardening and Go Explore Nature, which I learned about from your site. Lots of new friends this week! I look forward to keeping up with you — if I can!

  7. What a wonderful event to take part in (and host)! Your photos are beautiful & I am excited to read about your adventures in the coming year. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll, too!

  8. Hi Suz

    I love this post, wonderful photographs. Outdoor parties are a must. For me, winter brings it’s own magic and can be found all around outdoors.

  9. Belated hello to Debi! I am getting a lot of inspiration from your blog, GoExploreNature. The natural world offers so many opportunities for simple observation, enjoyment and wonder, and your blog highlights that well.

    Hi Marghanita! Great to see you here. Thank you your nice thoughts. I agree that winter is quite magical, outdoors or in, and that unexpected types of gatherings can be the best kind.

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