Go Out and Play

Once upon a time, children could wonder their neighborhoods freely in nature without fear of abduction or overcautious parents hovering. Kids could splash in creeks and climb trees until dusk all summer long. Times have changed, of course, and most humans now live in urban areas where wondering in the woods is not possible or practical, and letting children roam is ill advised.

As adults, though, we should go outside and play more often. Studies and books tell us that nature nurtures creativity. Forest Therapy is a taking root (not that anyone needs a therapist to get out into the woods, but it's better than not doing it).

Today, rain, shine, heat, or cold, go outside for a walk. Find your nearest park, hiking trail, or creek. Take your time and observe the flora and fauna. What do you see, hear, smell, feel? Look up, look down, look around. You might be amazed at what you see when you really look.

Sit on a bench or the ground and observe other people as they walk by. Are they in tune to nature, or are they chatting on the phone, listening to music, or talking with a companion? Notice that nature continues its day with or without human participation. But if you are paying attention, you become part of nature and will be rewarded by a bird stopping for a visit, or a bee, dragonfly or butterfly hovering nearby.

After a few sessions of outdoor observation, your mind will open to its magic. Ideas will begin to flow. Venture outside your physical and emotional walls to experience the world in a new way...Just ask Henry David Thoreau: "I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn."