Who needs nature? In an age when we rely so much on technology — for finding our way, amusing ourselves during “down time” (is it really down time if we’re staring at a screen?), staying in touch with people, managing our lives — we all do, now more than ever.
One of the perks of spending extended time in Death Valley this summer was the serenity that came from turning all the gadgets off, from removing the distractions of ringing and dinging and pinging, as Richard Louv puts it in his book, “The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age” (Algonquin, 2012). Reading it, I’m fascinated by the scientific validation of what I’ve personally experienced and been theorizing for years: the best antidote for stress, fatigue, feelings of alienation (spiritual disconnection and separation from your surroundings), complacency (both physical and emotional), and plain old boredom is simply getting outdoors. Continue reading