Like everyone else, there are some days I could stay inside all day. And binge on Netflix. Or sleep in a messy bed.
But most days, I feel the need to connect with “the outside”. To breathe fresh air. And feel like I am a part of nature. Some like the sun on their face (I’d prefer the rain), to hit the pavement in running shoes, or eat their paper bag lunch on a park bench. But I like to find everything green and take it in, even if it’s just one small tree on the street median. To listen for the birds, to acknowledge a crisp breeze, and to literally stop and smell flowers.
Because I grew-up in Southern California in a densely populated suburban area I always though of Nature as somewhere else, somewhere you had to drive out of “the city” to get to. When I moved to Portland, Oregon I realized that some people actually live in places that are immersed in the natural landscape. In fact the environment is the more prevalent feature and the buildings and the streets and even the highways are more thoughtfully placed within it. This was when I also realized how important it is to me to live that way.
The Great Outdoors may be a car, bike, or train ride away for some or it may be literally in their backyard. Either way, it does a body, mind, and soul good to get out into it more and be a respectful part of it.
Last weekend was National Get Outdoors Day 2016 and we happened to be babysitting our niece, Macie, overnight for the first time. So we grabbed her 2 brothers, nephews Gavin and Nathan, that were sleeping over at their grandma’s house and got them all outside for a dog walk and stop at our neighborhood park, climbing some rocks along the way. Our own dad used to take us out along this same path, we played in this same park, and a healthy appreciation for being outdoors started this way back then.
Now we walk dogs, go on hikes, and camp in the wilderness because for our family, everyday is a great day to get outdoors in some way!
-“The Aunties” Summer & Amanda