Get You & the Kids Outside for Your Nature Prescription: A Dose of Nature a Day Keeps the Docs Away. From the Vault

Have you and your kids had your daily dose of the outdoors today?

You know when we’re on a hike. And we’re climbing up a single track path. Maybe surrounded by Aspen trees if we were, say, at 9,000+ft heading up a trail to an alpine lake in Colorado.

It’s late spring. And all around us are gentle, wispy wildflowers poking their delicate heads through the fresh, green grass. A group of birds, possibly mountain chickadees, flitter in leaves of the trees around us, tweeting out to each other. Chicka-dee-dee-dee-dee.

I call up to my friend I’m hiking with because we’ve popped out of the grove of aspens and I pause to take in the heart-stopping grandeur of our view. A babbling, rocky stream below cutting the valley, snow-topped 14ers jaggedy up high, and Electric Pass and a scree field in my footsteps’ future at my back. Each way I turn, as I break and sip from my Camelback and nibble my gorp, I am bombarded with the awe of Nature.

And I feel GOOD. My head is clear, my breath is challenged but strong, my body feels worked, like it was meant to Hunter & Gatherer style and some deep level of contentment is present. I feel GOOD.
Cathedral Lake Hike, Aspen, Colorado
I’m curious about this feeling, because it’s the same sort of GOOD I feel when we’ve spent a stormy day in deep powder on a Wasatch Mountain in Utah. Chatting with my friends, the conversation about our runs turns to words like “epic” “unbelievable” and there is a giddy, juiced, almost spiritually happy vibe flowing through the group.

Using our bodies as two legged plows, we carve through the fluffy snowpack, dodging trees and branches or floating down big, Western bowls. Flakes stick to our goggles, red, raw faces, we occasionally get engulfed by a tidal-wave of powder – spitting it out and hooting with joy at the same time. I feel GOOD.

A daily dose of this could be all we need.

And though the dose need not be as extreme as dangling off a cliff in Nepal or bungee jumping from a helicopter onto a snow covered mountain in the Alps, it could just be as simple as taking a few steps towards a green patch in our neighborhoods or wild backyards. Finding a space. Where we can feast our eyes on an emerald bush dotted with flowers, a sprawl of unkempt grass where I can take off my shoes and feel the scrubby scrub of the earth, or enjoy the simplicity of an intricate dandelion and its tiny little parachutes.

Where do you go to take your daily prescription of Nature? I can’t wait for my next dose.

Be. Breathe. Do it. – OM

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Note: This post was originally published on March 31, 2014. To start off 2015 with a bang and a reason and a reminder of why we all do this, i've decided to dust this off and bring it out into the January sunshine again. 

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