Getting Out in Nature

Yesterday, we decided to get out of our home routine and explore a new place. As a surprise — the kids were trying to guess during the entire drive — I kept the destination a secret until we got there.

I wouldn’t say a hot Father’s Day is the ideal time to go to Blue Ridge Reservoir. But for the four of us, leaving comfort and getting out of town was long overdue.

Last week, my friends and I were commiserating about the comfort we’ve found in our gardens, watching our plants grow, seeing sprouts of hope, and getting dirty in the soil. People have long been writing about how being in nature’s elements speaks to something deep within us, and it can feel like a homecoming.

It feels good to breathe the air outside. At the reservoir, the steep canyon walls echoed bird calls, and carried laughter of people having a good time. The water, so much of it, our eyes drank it up. The sun, inescapable out there, felt so good and helped us decide when to go home.

We took our friend’s fishing poles and the kids loved being in nature in a new way.

We skimped it and brought just a few things down into the canyon. Not having — and then missing — some comforts (shade, more food, a more comfortable place to sit) felt good to me.

Rick Bass, a naturalist, wrote:

“If it’s wild to your own heart, protect it. Preserve it. Love it.

If it’s what makes your heart sing,

If it’s what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it.

For sure it’s wild – and if it’s wild, it will mean you’re still free.”

A beautiful essay.

A few favorite nature writers – Rick Bass, David Quammen, Camille Dungy, Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry

What are your favorite ways to be “out in the wild”?


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