Today is Walk to Work Day! Last year more than 5,800 San Franciscans traveled with at least a 15 minute walking commute. Some companies mobilized their employees. Ritual Coffee Roasters gave out free coffee to anyone who was walking to work! There was even a special happy hour giving out awards and free drinks to those who had the “Longest Walking Commute,” “Most Interesting Sight,” “Best Shoe Bling,” and “Most Company Employees Participating.”
– Richard Louv
We email, text, tweet, and then buy on Amazon. The Tribune Media Group recently reported we’re on the Web at over 5 hours each day. In addition to that, we’re involved in technology almost every day.
Do we see Nature every day?
I remember as child, one of my favorite things was playing outdoors in my backyard. I’d be in the sandbox, gazing at the glorious California blue of the sky, and the tall, green trees for which “Palo Alto” was named. The very tip tops seemed to frame in their own haphazard way, a fringe around the sky. And seeing that medium dark green up next to a beautiful heaven blue, was a bit of perfection. It was peacefulness in my childhood.
So technology does seem to reign at times. It’s what life has evolved to, and we shouldn’t stop it. It allows us to stay in touch with people we love, and to get certain things done quicker. Yet, we can take steps to ensure balance in our lives. Balance for engaging with the natural world just as much as we do with gadgets.
Join me in appreciating whatever nature is in front of you today.
Richard Louv is a journalist and author of books about the connections amongst family, nature, and community. He is the founding chairman of the Children & Nature Network, an organization that helps to connect today’s children and future generations to the natural world. Louv is also Honorary Co-chairman of Canada’s national Children and Nature Alliance; a part of the board of directors of ecoAmerica and the editorial board of Ecopsychology. Previously, he was a columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune and a columnist and member of the editorial advisory board for Parents magazine. Louv’s accomplishments include the 2007 Cox Award for “sustained achievement in public service,” the highest honor of Clemson University. In 2009, he earned the International Making Cities Livable Jane Jacobs Award.
Louv is married to Kathy Frederick Louv and the father of two sons, Jason and Matthew. Although an author and journalist, Richard Louv has said about himself that “he would rather fish than write.”
Bio source: About Richard Louv
Statistic source: Tribune Media Group
“The best way out is always through.”
– Robert Frost
Robert Frost (1874-1963) was a highly-regarded poet known for his depiction of rural life. He published his first poem in high school. He attended Harvard but did not graduate due to illness; he received an honorary degree from Harvard posthumously, as well as more than 40 other honorary degrees. Though Frost grew up in the city, he lived on farms later in his life. He was a professor at Amherst College, and at Middlebury College for 42 years. Some of his best-known poems include “The Road Not Taken,” “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” and “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”
This particular quote is from the poem “A Servant to Servants” (1914). Many of Frost’s poems explore the splendor of the outdoors. However, “A Servant to Servants” is a contrast to the typical Frostian nature poem. Its speaker is the wife of a hard-working farmer who feels trapped in her life that seems meaningless. She explains her monotonous daily routine. The poem is written in iambic pentameter, although it varies in meter with no apparent rhyme scheme. A constant symbol in this poem is nature representing freedom, but it is a freedom that the speaker cannot attain.
Try to use all the natural light that comes to us from our earth. Green light is light from the sun, and not fluorescent bulbs. In fact, I’d even go so far to say that what a wonderful world it would be if we operated based on when our day was light — and our night was dark. Our body rhythms would be in tune with this natural course of living. Perhaps light is sending us a message of when we should work, engage with people, and when we should sleep, rest, rejuvenate.
During the Edo era in Japan (1603-1868), the only wood they’d use from the forest was if a branch had fallen from a tree. In the same way, we don’t pick fruit before it’s ripe.
We don’t wrench the immature tomato from the vine. When it is the right time, you’ll find it almost drops off naturally in your hand.
Perhaps then, the message for us in present-day is, don’t cut down the wood until the tree is ready to release its branch. Perhaps all the wood we need will fall naturally and offer itself to you. This will be right timing for the tree as well as your needs.
Is there an area you are pushing for, that is perhaps unripe? Perhaps it’s time to gently let it go. We can let right timing lead, delivering the gift to you and everyone, at its specially appointed time.
Let’s enjoy the gifts, events and happenstances which are given naturally to us.
“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.” — Kahlil Gibran
What a beautiful quote from Kahlil Gibran, a philosopher and leader who was so conscious of living in tune with nature, our feelings and our sincerest intentions.
Gibran was born in Lebanon in 1883 and emigrated to the United States as a young man. He is best known for his work of philisophical essays, The Prophet. He is the third best-selling poet in the world, after Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu–excellent company to be in!
“Better to make a few mistakes being natural than to do everything out of a feeling of worry.”
– The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946
It’s better to make a few mistakes being natural. It’s important to be who we are in a natural, real way. If we get everything right, and are absolutely perfect, but it’s done with anxiety…. then it actually isn’t right, is it?
What we do needs to be done with care, love, calm. With joy and sincerity…and since Dr. Benjamin Spock was a famous leader in parenting in the 40s, I’ll take his advice not only for parenting, but also for management. And for our communications, how we live our lives, how we treat others…
Dr. Spock was an influential writer on childrearing, who advocated for increased flexibility and affection in the treatment of infants and children. He was also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and a peace advocate.