Posts Tagged With: hiking

Summer is Here, Grab it and Don’t Let Go

Last year I wrote how Dandelion Wine is a classic book setting the tone of summer. This year, let me suggest five goals for your summer:

1. Catch fireflies (or lightning bugs, as we call them). If nature didn’t have enough lifeforms whose complexity defies chance, here’s one that no kid, or adult, should go the summer months without catching.

2. Look at the stars. Why spend a cool, summer night in front of the television? It doesn’t take an expensive telescope or pair of binoculars to explore the night sky or the Moon. Be connected to our ancestors who studied the heavens for many millennia. Rediscover Earth’s paradox: A speck among the vast cosmos — a cosmos that conspired to allow it to exist against all odds.

3. Visit an old-fashioned amusement park. One that has been around for decades and in some ways has retained some of the original atmosphere. Sure, we have enough amusement, but the rides, sounds, lights and people from all walks makes for an experience all too rare. Hopefully, they are not a dying breed.

4. Build a campfire. Forget the stove or the grill. Build it from scratch and cook over hardwoods like mankind has done since the dawn. Maybe it’s the dancing flames or the aromatic smoke that brings us back to simpler times. Or perhaps the bringing of people together is a reminder of what we have lost.

5. Notice all these activities are outside? Here are some more: Geocaching, Hiking, Exploring (Waymarking).

Summer is a time to stop the busyness and replace it with life. The good life.

Categories: Nature, What You Can Do | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roughing It

We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it.  We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks – anywhere that we may be placed – with the necessity always present of being on time and up to our work; of providing for the dependent ones; of keeping up, catching up, or getting left.

So wrote George W. Sears – better known as Nessmuk – in his 1884 book Woodcraft. It has been in print ever since.

His words apply today just as they did over hundred years ago. We like to think we are better off than our ancestors in all ways, but clearly we are not. We still immerse ourselves in busyness and then complain we are exhausted and have no time. Nessmuk’s book was directed to such average folks – not the “man of millions” – in hopes they would find “at least once a year…a season of rest and relaxation” that they “well deserve.” He mentions those who succumbed to the “temptation to buy this or that bit of indispensable camp-kit.” If only he could see the outdoor industry now. He recommended we “go light; the lighter the better, so that the simplest material for health, comfort and enjoyment.” That’s something, I suppose, we can all consider in all parts of our lives.

The wild still calls to people as it has for generations. We’re almost aliens on this world, yet are uniquely designed to enjoy what John Eldredge calls the “extravagant beauty” that is all around us. We can’t raise nature to be a god and put it over the lives of humankind, but it is certainly there for those who wish to find it. Nessmuk ends his book with these words:

Wherefore, let us be thankful that there are still thousands of cool, green nooks besides crystal springs, where the weary soul may hide for a time, away from debts, duns and deviltries…

Free yourself from being busy. Eden awaits.


Categories: Books, Nature | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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