This week, we were inspired by Andrew Weil's excerpt from his book, Spontaneous Happiness, which appeared in the October 30, 2011 issue of Newsweek, to get outside and take a hike in the woods. Dr. Weil's theory is that our society shows signs of suffering from "nature-deficit disorder...coined by the author Richard Louv to explain a wide range of behavior problems in children who spend less time outdoors but now is invoked as the root cause of an even wider range of....ailments in people of all ages who are disconnected from nature." The weather was gorgeous and we wanted to take advantage of record-breaking temperatures, no snow yet (knock on wood), and explore one of the sets of trails nearby.
The kids loved stopping and looking at the still-green plants along the way. They took many of these pictures.
My youngest son was especially interested in stumps with different colored fungi and moss on them.
My daughter, with her eye for abstract shapes, preferred the patterns of the leaves:
Andrew Weil states, "I believe we are gathering scientific evidence for the benefits of living close to nature, not simply for enjoying its beauty or getting spiritual sustenance, but for keeping our brains and nervous systems in good working order." Interesting stuff, but all I know is we started out complaining and ended our hike telling jokes, laughing, and challenging one another to runs up and down the hills.
Connecting with nature--just what the doctor ordered!