Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. Albert Einstein
My subtitle comes from Richard Louv’s 2008 book: Lost Child In The Woods; Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder. Louv says that the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable. Direct exposure to nature is essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. He sites the growing body of evidence linking the lack of nature in children’s lives and the rise in obesity, attention disorders, and depression. Louv’s message was galvanized in a national movement: “Leave No Child Inside.” We have a generation so plugged into electronic diversions that it has lost its connection to the natural world.
I am currently reading a 2014 book: Conscious Living, Conscious Aging by Ron Pevny. In a chapter, Nature As Healer And Teacher, Pevny gives “recognition of the critical importance of nature — in the world outside human-created structures and environments and also within us — to our well-being and growth.” He is talking about a growth that is deeply grounded in a living, conscious relationship with nature. “Human growth can be greatly supported by choosing to mindfully spend time in the natural world. It need not be wilderness — just someplace where nature’s influence is stronger than human creation.”
We seem to be living in a modern world that has lost touch with nature, without and within. However, I can confidently say that I have not suffered nature-deficit disorder during my lifetime. I believe I have made nature part of my life, not only as a child, but also as a young adult and as an elder.
Although I have always been proud of this, I have not always realized how important a relationship with nature is for quality well-being. I believe being in nature and looking deep into nature helps me to “understand everything better” (Einstein). But remember, I don’t believe I totally understand everything.
In order to make being in nature meaningful, you need to think about what it means. To me it means I am connected to nature; we are one. Although I still consider this connection to be a mystery, being in nature becomes a meaningful spiritual experience.