Welcome to the second half of the AtoZChallenge! I’m looking forward to reading posts with the more exotic letters!
We are creatures of nature. We may block that part out with air conditioning, processed foods, overwork, and more, but when we take a moment to stop and reconnect with the natural world, we are renewed. It’s no coincidence that we use the word “blossom” to describe that sense of renewal.
Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” in his book, Last Child in the Woods. He has observed that children who spend time in nature are freer from problems such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety.
I’ve known for a long time that I need nature to be more front and center in my life…hence our move, a few years ago, to the Olympic Peninsula.
We have wooded footpaths throughout town with miles of hiking space. A short drive either east or west brings us to mountains. And, every day, we can look out over the water. Whenever I feel scattered or tired or unfocused, I head outside, and my head clears.
Whether we grow a pot of herbs on a windowsill or hike or just stand on a sidewalk looking at someone else’s garden, we owe it to ourselves to breathe in nature’s rhythms. We are happier when we do.
I wrote this piece from an apartment in Queens, New York. We are visiting the Big Apple, far away from our home and my garden. Yet here, in the cozy neighborhood of Ridgewood, is our daughter. We have a son in Miami, a short(er) flight from New York.
On this trip, we realized that sometimes the nature we need is the nature of our families…so we have decided to spend late fall to early spring based in New York, with periodic jaunts to Miami.
Yet we are, at least for now, keeping the house and garden in Port Townsend. It may sound odd, to live in New York during the cold of winter, but we will do indoor activities (theater, museums), and then return home in time to get my hands in the soil and grow food. We are unwilling to give up the views and glorious nature of the Northwest in the summer.
We will also find ways to enjoy nature here in the city. I love the flowerboxes, the little plots of green here and there amidst the concrete and brick. Wherever I am, I will seek nature, even if it’s in the form of a snowdrift.
It’s a strange, thrilling adventure. Stay tuned as to how it turns out!