Nature = Relaxed BodyMind

Chronic low grade stress is an epidemic effecting every age group and demographic in our industrial society.

In the body this manifests as a tight knot of muscle tension in the solar plexus – just below the rib cage and above the navel. Many people do not know life without this feeling.

It is a constant companion.


Accompanying this tightness are: increased activation of the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, increased levels of cortisol (the stress hormone).

Here then is some of the data gathered by researchers in Japan where most of the investigations have taken place:

Heart Rate Variability

Some background: When my sympathetic nervous system is engaged my heart beats in an extremely efficient and regimented predictable manner - ready to make the most of each beat to maximize efficiency of physical output should I need to fight for my life or flee from danger. So, the sympathetic "fight or flight" state equals a lower Heart Rate Variability.

Conversely, when I am relaxed, resting and digesting, my parasympathetic nervous system is engaged. My heart rate in this state is variable - not predictable. My heart does not need to maximize efficiency when I am feeling safe and relaxed - it can afford a few late beats or early ones that are not "on time". So a higher Heart Rate Variability shows I am more relaxed, that my parasympathetic nervous system is engaged.


Here's a graph from some of the research on Heart Rate Variability in subjects exposed to a forest environment vs. an urban environment.

The forest environment increased HRV in subjects meaning that their parasympathetic nervous system was engaged, meaning that they were more relaxed there.

 Salivary Cortisol


Cortisol is a hormone that is released when the body undergoes stress.

Here is a graph from the research showing the differences in subject's cortisol levels in the forest vs. the city:

In the forest subjects cortisol levels were lower. They were more relaxed.

Heart Rate - Beats Per Minute (BPM)

When I am nervous or stressed my heart beats faster. An increased heart rate is indicative of an activated sympathetic/fight or flight nerve response.

Another graph:


Forest=lower heart rate=less stress

City=increased heart rate=more stress



Blood Pressure


Consistent with lower Heart Rate Variability and increased heart rate is increased blood pressure. Here is the blood pressure graph from the research: 

Forest=lower blood pressure

City=higher bloood pressure


Here’s the story, chronic low grade stress is dangerous. Really dangerous.

It contributes to most forms of heart disease, cancer and psychological disorders. It causes people to die many years before they should. It wears out the system – burns it out.  It’s a real good idea to prevent or manage it. Most allopathic solutions have been of a pharmaceutical nature— many of which come with side effects.

Mindful time in nature can alleviate many of the symptoms of chronic low grade stress. When a person walks into a forest or other natural landscape and slows down, looks around, appreciates where they are, opens their senses and just focuses on BEING – these symptoms subside.

But you already knew that.

Now you have some graphs and numbers to back that up.



How long has this been going on?

A compelling number that supports a Return To Earth is 200.

That's roughly how many years it's been since the Industrial Revolution when steam engines, interchangeable parts, and petroleum fueled a rapid exodus from the countryside to the city.

Another number of note is 200,000 - according to most sources, that's how long modern humans have roamed the Earth.

200 vs. 200,000.


This means that for 99.99% of our time on the planet we lived mostly as hunter gatherers, then as agriculturalists and for a thin slice of time as urbanized industrialists.

We used to live on the Earth. We slept on the earth. We walked for locomotion.

Considering these numbers it is not surprising that many of us feel anxious and unhealthy in our modern world.

Our physiology and psychology evolved in deep relation to the landscape.

What is now seen as normal behavior (living in buildings, driving in cars, sitting in chairs) has only been going on for .01% of our history.

Given this information is it any wonder that we feel more relaxed and at peace when we take breaks from the frenetic pace of industrialized life and immerse ourselves in natural, undeveloped landscapes?


Know Thine Enemy


Before sharing some of the research being done in Nature and Forest Therapy I will write about anxiety and depression, two conditions we are trying to heal with Nature exposure. They are part of the sickness and nature is the Cure.

Some quotes:

 "Anxiety is the most common mental-health disorder in the United States, affecting nearly one-third of both adolescents and adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health." Link

 "Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year." (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun; 62(6): 617-27)

 "About six million people are affected by late life depression, but only 10% ever receive treatment." (Brown University Long Term Care Quarterly, 1997)

Some writers and thinkers claim that being alive at this time on the planet means feeling the threat of our own demise, calling it "extinction anxiety". Link

For many of us, just the pace of our lives is dangerous - a chronic state of urgency - never being on time, not having enough time, never going fast enough, doing enough, making enough, to keep up on the merry go round that is participation in the industrial growth society. This leads to higher blood pressure, increased heart rates, higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in our systems, and increased systemic inflammation. All of these combined can cause a person to age more quickly and die younger.

Some describe this state of mind as having the gas pedal floored while at the same time stomping on the brakes. Most people feel stress and anxiety in their solar plexus - just above the navel - a tense knot of energy.

As the pace of life continues to speed up and get more demanding and complicated it is ever more important to seek out effective,safe, healthy treatments to balance and sooth ourselves. Traditional solutions for stress, anxiety, and depression have mostly been medication and, at times, talk therapy. Both are useful and necessary in some instances, but Nature is one of the oldest and most effective treatments for what ails the modern heart-mind and it also puts much of the responsibility for healing into the hands of the patient.

Before deciding to slay the dragon it is important to understand its nature. How strong, pervasive and established are the dangers of anxiety, stress, and depression? What am I up against? 



I believe in the healing power of Nature experience - especially when combined with mindful breathing and taking inventory of my senses. It works for me. I feel the positive healing effect of spending time in wild places. Even in more developed natural surroundings like city parks, Nature Heals. I believe.  

But not everyone is like me (thankfully).

Some folks need numbers.

 They want proof. Maybe they're from Missouri (the "Show Me State"). 

In the next few posts I will share facts for the skeptics and cite research being done in the field of forest therapy where researchers are measuring the effect of Nature exposure on: blood cortisol levels, immune system function (killer T-cells), blood viscosity, blood pressure, heart rate, and the electrical charge of the body.

Interesting stuff, and its measurable.  

Even though I'm a believer, I am not a gullible knee jerker. The research I will share has helped me to feel even more committed to this path of sharing Nature's healing power with more people.  

Stay tuned. . .  



"The Dimensions Are Just Right"

I was on a hike with a friend of mine once. We were up Rock Creek, a drainage of California's Owens River. The granite cliffs yawned thousands of feet above our heads in all directions, encrusted with flaming orange and neon green crustose lichens, creeklets vaulting in crashing cascades, the sun, the crisp air - it   was a symphony of mountain flavors.

We were both moved by the gestalt of the experience. Divine.

I said something like, "Gee. Everything here is so big and I feel so small." It's a cliche. People say this kind of thing in places like Upper Rock Creek quite frequently. My friend listened to me and then she was quiet for a moment. Then she spoke.

 "I don't feel small here at all. The dimensions are just right. We are as big as we are. And this place is as big as it is. It's supposed to be this big and we are just the right size."

I felt lovingly corrected. She was right.

We humans spend so much of our time in manufactured landscapes, especially made for us - complete with cup holders and seat heaters - that we lose touch with the reality of life on Earth. We are in relationship with the rest of the vast, wondrous, numinous creation. We're not the main part of the show.

We're just people.

And people are smaller than mountains.


No Bigs

Sometimes I get a little fascinated with my own story. I get caught up in the happenings of my life, whether it is going the way I want it to, if I have made the right decisions, am doing the right thing, am going in the right direction and so forth. Story. All of the things I have done and that I dream to do. All of it is not really who I am. I get caught up in it though.

I was caught in it recently, and then I went for a bike ride in the woods under a full moon. I felt my story begin to lose some its power, to fade away and in its place was the beauty of the forest - the fragranced air, the loamy earth, the countless trees, shrubs, insects, creatures, stars, the moon, other celestial bodies. All of it together just soothed and calmed me. I began to see myself and my story in context - in relation to the forest and the earth that holds me always. So affirming and comforting and so much less dramatic. And refreshing.

I find that in nature it is hard for me to see my story as being that important or worth worrying about. I am able to let it just be and just exist as a small part of the much larger story that is this One Life We Are Together.

Ahhhh. No Bigs.


The Ethers Emerge

I have come to realize that when there is erosion - when there are larger bits of the earth being ground into smaller bits - in that space - something is released - particles, gasses, elixirs, ethers, essences -

When the wind blows on the cornice and sends ice crystals into whirling funnels - when water rolls over a sand bed and sends up plumes of granules, dirt in the wind, bits of tree, flower, branches blowing by in gale force - when there is sufficient power to move pieces of the earth around and reshape the land - there is power there - there is energy and something is released -

Maybe that is why I love rivers so much - because I know that always when I am floating on a river or when I sit next to one that not far from me there is a process at work - that the water at its deepest and haviest and most powerful is moving and grinding away at the bedrock beneath me. I remember once hearing from some friends in CHile that had just paddled on a river close to Santiago - they said the sound of the whitewater - the roar of the water on the surface - was drowned-out by the clacking of the boulders thrashing about below their hulls.

That kind of force releases bits and pieces - shards of rock are bludgeoned from large boulders and they become rocks and those become pebbles and those become sand and those become talc and those become the ethers of rivers - glacial flour - the flour of the river - a faint dust from boulder to dust and all done by water. When that happens - there is more surface area to react - like the classic chemistry demonstration: candle in the bottom of a sealed five gallon bucket with a turkey baster of flour sprayed into it. Boom!

All that surface area of the flour granules burns immediately and there is a large explosion. The more surface area, the more opportunity for reaction.

More opportunities for reaction... opportunities for connection. When I am surrounded by the tiny bits and motes of the earth and life and body floating around in nature that are not filtered out I am bathed in some of the wisdom of the place. I take it into my body. Breathe it in. Since I am in the middle of all of that surface area I too have more opportunity to burn and connect and react with more of that place.

So when the water flows or the wind blows and things begin to move, to sway and grind and roll around, life is more animate. It is more spirited. The holy belly is unzipped... the ethers emerge.

Sense Photographs


I have a favorite writing activity  when sitting in Nature. It's simple and it alway brings me further in.

I follow my intuitive heart to an appealing spot to sit. Once I find the spot and make sure it is the right one, I take out my sit pad and maybe put on an extra layer to ensure I will remain comfortable while sitting. I might take a drink of water, or maybe have a snack. I take care of my needs.

Then I open my journal to a blank page and write,

 "I see..." and I look around and feast on the visual stimulation that greets my eyes - then I write all of the things I see. I write for a while - I try to capture all of the sights I am seeing - I get into the details and describe as best I can.

Next I write,

 "I hear..." and I do the same thing - focussing on specifics of what I hear and being as accurate as I can. 


 "I smell..."

 "I feel..."

 "I taste.."

And finally

 "I feel (in my heart)..."

I describe what I am sensing as accurately as I can. Each sense gets at least a paragraph....or more. I give myself over to the task of capturing in words all that I am sensing.

My goal for this is to create a piece of writing that will transport me back to this natural place when I read it in the future.

It is a written down, sense-based photograph.

By taking the time to focus on each of my senses and writing down what I am sensing, I go deeper into the moment and into my relationship with the Earth. My mind doesn't wander when I am engaged in this way.

I am more present.

They're worth reading later too. I collect them.

Good Racooning

The guide is not the teacher. Nature is the teacher. The guide is a space holder, an inviter, a person with ideas and suggestions. And a risk manager and caretaker who knows the cardinal rule of guiding well:

 "Bring 'em back alive."

And they carry first aid kits and satellite phones.

Raccoon in the First Nation Story, Jumping Mouse, is the guide. He is not particularly flashy or noticeable behind his mask. He understands that his little brother, Mouse, is looking for the source of the roaring in his ears. He takes him to the river, the source of the roaring, efficiently introduces him to Frog (The Spirit of Nature) and then he rolls - beats feat and goes in search of some food he can wash in the river. He makes sure Mouse is safely with Frog, then fades away to take care of his own needs.

He doesn't hang out and tell stories about all the other mice he's led to the River, doesn't brag about his accomplishments or talk about what a great guide he is. He just gets his client (Mouse) to the bank safely and introduces him to the next stage of his grand and transformative Adventure in the threshing hold of the Wilderness.

"Talk to Frog"  - that's it.

I admire and aspire to guide like Raccoon. Simple, safe, minimal intrusion with maximum opportunity for the client to receive a teaching from Frog (Nature).

Thanks Raccoon. Strong work. Barely even noticed you.

And with that said, Raccoon's role is absolutely critical. Mouse's journey would not have happened without him. He facilitates Mouse's connection. He's a logistician mostly with a sprinkle of Wise Animal— but not a show boat — just doing his job, moving curious Mice to the River. Show 'em the source of the roaring in their quivering, perceptive ears. Then....

it's Peace Out.



Nature is three dimensional. 

For example, a forest has length and width but also depth. The distance from loamy floor to sun-bathed  crown can sometimes be two or three hundred feet.

Deep container. 

When I move into the forest I enter it,  insert myself and my sense organs into the living body of the forest. It surrounds me from all directions - 360 degrees - up, down and to the sides.

In contrast, developed landscapes seems to have only length and width - a predominantly flat land. There are stairs and elevators that transport me to different levels in tall buildings but the levels themselves are flat— a series of connected platforms I can easily navigate. I am not challenged to think of my world as having any more than two dimensions most times. 

But Nature reminds me I live in a three dimensional womb-like container.

This is especially apparent on contact zones - borders between two and three dimensional natural communities, like when meadow meets forest.

I stand in a grassy meadow and appreciate the openness and sights that land on my eyes from a distance. And there is an obvious line - a border where the meadow grasses abut the first rank of forest trees - two dimensional meadow meets three dimensional forest. I try to notice these doorways - portals into more-apparent three dimensional Nature.

As I cross I sense the front of my body - my nose, cheeks, chest, the fronts of my legs as they pierce the membrane of the forest container. I am enveloped by the sights, sounds and sensations of this different natural community as I cross. 

Yet even when I'm inside a forest I sometimes get more interested and focussed on the two dimensional forest floor, the trail I am walking. I remind myself to sense up and down, to be open and to accept the sense-stimulus that comes from above and below as well as front, back and to the sides.

I am surrounded on all sides by gifts and offerings.

I keep myself oriented this way — open to receive and taste the flavors of three dimensional awareness.


She Abides

When I walk in more developed areas - cities, towns, villages - settlements - places where the humans have developed the land and covered it with roads and dwellings, I look around and spy the Wild Earth that the infrastructure is built upon. Sometimes I have to look into the distance for the crest of a near hill or ridge - I look for the roll and shape of the earth beneath the skin of development and paths of busy people, hunkered over devices, rushing along. 


Sometimes I play a game with myself and imagine that the concrete disappears - that suddenly I have stepped into a time machine and gone back to before the burgeoning expanse of humanity came to the place - I pretend that the roads, buildings, cars, concrete and blacktop vanish and there it is - the Earth - the wild world that abides beneath the encrustments of humanities often unconscious behavior.


I feel comforted, supported knowing that Earth abides beneath the sidewalk.  Urban/suburban development is new. The bulk of history is one of a fecund, soft, flowing ecology - a living breathing Earth filled with relationships.

See the land beneath the city - this kind of imagining has lead me to find the topography of developed areas - I find drainages, I see where the land has clefts, valleys, promontories that so often are obscured by the bridges, roads, and buildings of modern society. By pretending that  the development is gone I am able to appreciate and investigate nature in places where it seems to be absent. But Nature is always present. It does not matter what we have clothed her with - she is there - beneath the development.

She abides.


 Samuel L Jackson in  Do The Right Thing   

Samuel L Jackson in Do The Right Thing  


Without getting into specifics, today is a big day.

Tomorrow may be bigger.

In the days that come, make time to connect to your larger body.


Grounding and connecting will be important.


Walk into Nature.


Take off your shoes. Touch a tree.


Breathe. Inhale through your nose and smell.


Look around.


Say hello and thank you to everything.


There is SO MUCH to be grateful for.



 Riparian corridor of The Grande Ronde

Riparian corridor of The Grande Ronde

There are certain rivers that I know quite well through my work guiding on them over the years. Most of these riparian pathways I have seen in wet, flooding Spring, Summer, and cool, slow Fall. The majority of my focus for all of these river miles, days, and hours has been on the river itself  - specifically on the boulders, pillows, waves, holes, and clear moving sluices for which I aim. Mostly I find success in focussing on the way through - the path.


When rapids cease and the water runs smooth I still am drawn to the river and the bank - scanning for Blue Heron, Otter, Salmon, Steelhead, Elk, Wolves, Golden Eagle, Black Bear, Cougar, Bald Eagle, Bighorn Sheep, Canyon Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Ouzel, Kingfisher, Osprey, Cutthroat and Golden Trouts. My focus is on the riparian corridor. It is where I camp and work as well: the beaches, the banks, the cobble bars, high benches but all of it is close to the river. I am always on the same path. Yes,  the path changes from day to day - it is a dynamic and flowing system as is all of nature,  but it is this focus on that thin ribbon of wilderness I write about today.


You see, I think I'm missing out.


I need to get off the river and take more hikes - explore some terrestrial corridors and take a break from the riparian - even though I love it so much. I have found value in taking hikes up canyon walls to get my bearings— to feel and more deeply know these incredible places I am honored to live and work in.

 Above the Grande Ronde River

Above the Grande Ronde River


When I take the time to get away from the river, take a hike and get above it I appreciate and understand where I am. The river is a way in, but maybe I am missing out on a deeper connection to the place I am flowing through by not getting away and above the river to appreciate how it is connected to the larger, living, fecund body of the canyons that it has carved - the peaks that surround it, the buttes, cliffs, and battlements through which it flows.


Here's to forays off well known paths.


And to the pleasure and wisdom that come from novel explorations.

Hand Hearts


When I am in nature I try to connect deeply. I try to awaken my nervous system as best I can. The palms of my hands are potent tools for nature connection. They manipulate, massage, feel, sense, explore, gather information, bring food to my mouth.

When I awaken and partner with my hands as I go deeper into a sensual connection with Nature I feel their power - their possibility to take me deeper.  

Aligned with this is the Hindu system of Chakras which assigns many sub chakras to the hands with the ones in the palms being described as "little heart chakras" - red or gold in color. They are connected to the heart chakra and thus quite powerful in their ability to feel and express love, compassion and gratitude.


Try This:

When in a peaceful soul nurturing natural setting rub your hands together and generate some heat in the palms of your hands. Wake them up - get the blood moving there. Now bring your hands slightly apart and feel for a ball of energy that comes forth in that space. Enjoy it. Play with it. Bring your hands apart further and shape this warm ball of energy between your hands. Now take your hands and place them on a nearby rock or tree or tuft of grass. Keep feeling through your hands. Imagine the energy that comes from your hands going into the earth through this connection. Imagine energy coming from the Earth and into you through the hearts in your hands. Feel it flowing up your arms, down into your heart. Breathe.



 Feel that connection. Awaken the hearts in your hands. Connect them to the heart in your chest. Connect them to the heart of the Earth. Now take them from the rock or tree and place them on your chest, belly or both. Bring it in. 


Keep Breathing.



Subtle Dance

Sometimes in nature I sway. I sway with the wind as the trees do. I am affected by the wind - I sense and feel the rhythms in it. Even when the wind is not blowing or the tide is not lapping luxuriously upon the shore  - I sense rhythm in nature. I feel its beat and sway.

Try a sway sometime.

Keep the movements small.  Listen into them. Stay with the  small movements— no need to make it big or extreme. Subtle is nice. Just a little movement  - integral, truthful movement from that which is moving... Always. Keep moving. Keep moving.

Try this:

After arriving at a pleasing natural place, stop and breathe a few breaths. Make them slow and conscious breaths - pranayama. Now ground through your feet...slight bend to your knees... straighten your spine, imagine the wire running from sacrum to crown, pulling you gently upwards. Keep breathing. Shift your weight from side to side slowly and gently.

Sway with the deep beat of nature. Stay with it for as long as feels comfortable.

You're dropping in. Drop into rhythm - the heartbeat of your larger body - the Earth.


Keep breathing.



Nature Child

I was at Olmstead Point, a vista parking area in Yosemite National Park one day many years ago when I saw the power and wisdom of a child's curiosity for nature. A boy bounded from a mini van followed by his attendant parents. He immediately hopped over the small rock wall between the parking area and the wild world of granite landscape and began looking around, exploring. His parents followed. The boy was the leader - he guided his parents into the mysteries of the glaciated rock shelves, boulders, and creeklets. I witnessed his curiosity and sense of adventure influencing those of his parents.

Children approach nature with curiosity and a willingness to explore.  

They seek out connection naturally. While walking in nature, try to tap into the natural child that lives inside of you. Allow yourself to be child-like - to play - to explore - to wander with no plan or agenda.

Be a loose and comfortable child in nature. Relax your adult concerns and reality and see Nature as a playground— a safe place— a place you belong and are welcomed.

Be a Nature Child.

You belong. Your play and celebration are appreciated and needed here. Everywhere.


Animal Walk


I am able to go much deeper in my nature connection practice the more liquid, limber, lithe, and flexible I make my movements.

I mimic the movements of wild animals.

I bend my knees and lower my center of gravity - my stance is as wide as my hips or slightly wider. I allow my arms to swing and my fingers to flop around as I walk. I loosen myself up and remain flexible. I want to abandon any rigidity I came to the threshold with. I soften, open, and listen through my body, through my feet.

I flow across the landscape.

If the terrain is unstable and the footing is not secure as on large, loose river cobble, I bend my knees more and prepare myself to use my hands if I need to. I move like a lizard over the shifting rocks.

A suggestion:

Stand solidly on the Earth. Connect through your feet.

Bend your knees.

Stand erect.

Bring your shoulders back and drop them down from your ears.

Open your heart.

Lift your chin.

Feel a small wire attaching at the base of your spine and then running up through your vertebral column up and out the top of your head. This imaginary wire is pulling you gently upwards.

Breathe deeply.

Grounded feet.

Bent knees.

Imaginary wire pulls you upward.

Stand like this and breathe slowly.

What comes to you?

Now begin to move slowly with your bent knees, erect spine and loose arms and hands. Walk slowly and mindfully. There is no rush. You are softening and moving as an animal does through nature.

Become Animal.

Saying Hello to Everything


Lately I've been reading and listening to Martin Prechtel, a powerful yellow-haired man who lives and teaches at his school, Bolad's Kitchen, down in New Mexico.

I have some podcasts I've been enjoying. Here's one.


  He has a new book I've been reading too: The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise. It's a synthesized version of what he has been writing and speaking about for many years. It has some practical instructions for recovering from the Industrial Growth Society with primary focus on moving Grief and Praise through the human heart. He encourages me to FEEL my grief and let it roll, "so that you look bad when you're finished" he says. After the grief there is more room for the praise. And that is the heart of LIFE. 


At one point in the podcast he says something like, "When I'm out in the world I am constantly greeting everything and every body. I am saying, 'hello, hello , hello' to everything."


This consistent acknowledging is something he attributes to his indigenousness. Maintaining connections — he actively interacts with the multi-dimensional world that he inhabits and directs his attention out into the world, allowing his nerves and senses to be open and available so that he might see and be seen.


Hello. Hello. Hello.


As you wander in nature, give this a shot. Try saying hello to everything. Look into each tree, rock, stream, blade of grass, bug, bird, scurrying rodent, speck of sand, polished river pebble and acknowledge it and greet it. Introduce yourself. I suppose you cannot really say hello to everything. You would have to probably choose one spot to sit and that would be your afternoon of nature reconnection. Might be valuable.

On your slow walk into nature I encourage you to try saying hello to as much as you have time and energy for. Greet the natural world with humility and reverence and with your beautiful self. See what greeting you receive in return.

Like any relationship, your's with nature begins with an acknowledgement and a greeting.

Hello. Hello. Hello.

In my experience out loud is best -


Where am I DRAWN?


After crossing a threshold and stepping into the sacred space of nature I ask myself a simple yet powerful question..

Where Am I DRAWN?

Where am I drawn in this landscape I am exploring? With all that I am sensing and feeling, what is it that pulls me? What is pleasing? What do I want to get closer too? In which direction am I drawn? I sense into the connections I feel. I trust them. I move further in. Deeper.

Where do I want to go sit and spend some time? Where in this natural place do I feel most comfortable, relaxed, and at peace?

After I ask myself questions like this and listen to my heart and my guts -  my solar plexus, I begin to move in a particular direction for a while, always listening to what feels right. Sometimes my feelings change,  so I change direction - I ask myself again, "where am I drawn?" and begin a new exploration.

I try to remain ready to shift course if my feelings change.

This is a wonderful initial activity once crossing over - follow your intuitive heart to the aspects of this place that pull at you.

You have complete permission to explore, wander and wonder.

We're getting to work now. Keep breathing.  Walk slowly and mindfully.

We are warming up our nature-connection muscles.

Enjoy that.




Then I go wandering off, following all of my favorite trails to all of the places I like.

I check how everything is doing.

I spend the day admiring things.


- From Byrd Baylor's I'm in Charge of Celebrations.