As an outgrowth of my short nature-filled vacation a couple of weeks ago and my more recent exploration of environmentalism-as-self-defense in my "this I believe" essay, I've been trying to get outdoors more and spend more time enjoying nature and natural elements.
These days, I eat lunch outside whenever possible instead of at my desk; I step outside frequently to get out of the air-conditioning — even on the brutal 100-degree days. I've made it a point to look up more often — both at clouds and at stars (sometimes it's tough to even see them from my home in the city). I've decorated my office with a vase of wildflowers that I hand picked from the far edge of the office parking lot, and I take time each day to listen to the sounds of birds, rainfall, and cicadas.
It feels great.
Today, I've been reading "Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Magical stuff! Please enjoy this brief excerpt:
First, the simple perception of natural forms is a delight. The influence of the forms and actions in nature, is so needful to man, that, in its lowest functions, it seems to lie on the confines of commodity and beauty. To the body and mind which have been cramped by noxious work or company, nature is medicinal and restores their tone. The tradesman, the attorney comes out of the din and craft of the street, and sees the sky and the woods, and is a man again. In their eternal calm, he finds himself. The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.Now go and get yourself OUTSIDE!