Updated: Feb 3
We’d like to encourage discussion within Riverside (and beyond) about the value of nature to people.
Nature is fundamental to our lives and lifestyles, providing energy, water, food, materials for clothing and shelter and much more. Nature and landscapes also provide vast opportunities for enjoying the outdoors, offering a range of active and passive things to do with benefits to health and well-being.
This includes simply enjoying nature for its own sake. John Muir (1838 – 1914), the great Scottish born environmentalist, best known for his role in encouraging national parks in the USA, believed in the power of nature as an essential place of retreat from busy lifestyles, through which people could restore and maintain their health and well being. He so enjoyed walking away from the complexities of every day life to declutter his mind with the simple act of living in the moment with nature.
People often describe their outdoor experiences in terms of what they did (great cycle in fab weather), what they saw (amazing wildlife and views) or what they achieved (“got to the top of the hill, whew!”), and this certainly helps to enthuse others to have a go. However, people are probably less inclined to say what they think and feel about nature and landscapes, though they may have unexpressed profound views.
It seems logical that the more people talk about nature, and the importance of it to their everyday lives – amidst everything else (!), the more chance of elevating the understanding of nature in society and increasing its importance to politicians, the media and other decision makers. Perhaps modern people as not as disconnected from nature as commonly thought. So we’d like to hear your views on how nature and landscapes make you tick, whether it’s in generalities or about a specific experience.
· What do you think of nature?
· How does it affect you?
· How do you express it?
Perhaps you’ll be inspired by some of John Muir’s thought provoking quotes:
“In every walk with Nature, one receives far more than he seeks”
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in”
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt”
“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul”
….Perhaps you have your own quote?