The New Year has arrived in grand fashion. It is well noted as the time of year when we make resolutions to reach various goals. Many make commitments to exercise, lose weight or change unhealthy habits and lifestyles. Others strive to reach monetary goals and perhaps get out of debt, once and for all…if that’s even remotely possible of course. My resolution each year is always the same…to get out in the woods more often and explore…I simply couldn’t survive without it.

Dawn of a New Year

Dawn of a New Year

I have always been deeply moved by the writings of David Henry Thoreau and John Muir. One of my favorites by Thoreau is…“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

All of us enjoy the time we spend in Nature, but have you ever really considered why? I think it’s because…”we ARE Nature.” Too often, I believe, we look at Nature and the Environment as being somewhere “out there,” separate from ourselves. Nothing could be further from the truth. We’re all made from the same building blocks. Plants provide us with oxygen and in exchange, we emit carbon dioxide. It’s a perfect relationship. With that in mind, the fact that 61% of our genes can be found in the common fruit fly and 35% in a daffodil should come as no surprise. It’s all part of God’s plan. We are truly ALL connected…and that’s a beautiful thing!

We’ve all heard and read numerous well documented stories of people with various illnesses and disorders that have seemingly been miraculously… healed or rejuvenated after a Nature retreat, yet we seldom give credit or acknowledge Nature as a catalyst for these healings. The truth is, our brains thrive on stimulus and nothing can compare with the quality of stimulus that Nature supplies – full of wonder, unpredictability and immeasurable beauty. The Sun supplies our bodies with vitamin D and the essential micronutrients we get from eating wild plants are unequaled in nearly every aisle of the supermarket. Remember, quality micronutrients are necessary for healthy brain function and can affect our mood, mental clarity and focus. Quite simply…when we’re healthier we’re happier. Food for thought…literally. Nature feeds our bodies and our souls.

So…along with your usual resolutions this year, make a commitment to fostering your relationship with Nature. It’s an easy resolution to keep. Take the time to learn about the plants and animals that we share this amazing planet with! It just makes sense…doesn’t it?…”Happy New Year Everyone!”

In Wildness, ~Richard