Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gettin' Back to Nature

Ahhh...the joys of modern industrialized life. There's even a meme that pokes fun at how spoiled we are:

As time passes, our world becomes more urbanized...and what's not urbanized becomes suburbanized. There are more buildings, vehicles, pollution, and fewer outdoor communal spaces. With all the privilege and convenience, I wonder: are we losing touch with nature?

Nature and humans used to share a deep bond. Aside from the fact that nature provides life force, the simple act of observing the natural world has driven math and science. It has inspired us to think and question why things happen the way they do—take great thinkers like DaVinci or Darwin for example. And with physics, humans have come up with some answers.

For me, long hikes teach me to appreciate and understand the value of life on earth. Enjoying nature—and soaking it all in—awakens my senses to the beauty of the trees, water, mountains, sky, and critters. Have you ever just layed on the grass and observed how the trees move in the wind? Those are my moments of zen.

But I'll admit, Seattle spoils me with easy to access gorgeous scenes from Mount Rainier to the Olympics.   

At Crystal Mountain with my best ski buddy/trad climber extraordinaire Lindsey. 

For my friends out there surrounded by the urban jungle, get creative. Go to a park or place a bird feeder at your window. Got any vacation time? May I suggest a couple of the most majestic places Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon.

The goal is to immerse ourselves in nature's grandeur. It's easy to fall in love with the outdoors, the hard part is just allocating the time and making it happen. But for me personally, it's worth it. Nature is our greatest gift, a gift we owe to ourselves, and a gift meant for sharing.