Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
by John Muir
I must agree with Muir on this point. I’ve been there – tired, nerve-shaken, and caught up in the lifestyle that society was pushing for me. Expectations abounded from every direction, and yet I felt disconnected from the modern world. There was a big hole in my life that I couldn’t identify. My family members often joke that I should have been born in another age – hundreds or thousands of years ago. That makes perfect sense to me logically, but in truth, I know that I was born into this world at EXACTLY the right time. I know that my life has purpose, and perhaps that purpose is to help the technology-driven, advertising-influenced, mass-controlled civilization in which I was placed to see life through another perspective – to get back to our roots as a people.
Every time I go out into the wilderness, it’s like coming home after a long business trip. I can’t wait to get there. Just to be there in presence is so utterly fulfilling of a basic need deep inside of me just to live, to be wild and experience the land that has not been completely tainted by industrialism. It’s like the perfect vacation spot that I could go back to again and again.
The land is a tremendous gift, one not to be taken for granted. As a culture, we tend to isolate ourselves not only from the land itself, but from what it represents. We compartmentalize the state and national parks as “recreation areas,” “tourist spots,” and “occasional indulgences.” We see it as separate from us, when in fact, we are utterly dependent on it.
In order to get strong, healthy, happy, and free we need to immerse ourselves in the land around us. We need to expose ourselves to the changing weather and seasons. We need to breathe fresh air, feel sunlight and rain, and train ourselves over a variety of changing terrain. We need to be comfortable in our true environment – outside of our homes, cars, and air conditioning. We need to get back to our roots.
So get out there and enjoy some dirt time, hiking, gardening, walking barefoot, climbing a tree, or a rainy day workout. Your body will thank you for it. If you haven’t checked it out already, don’t miss the Top 10 Reasons to Go Outside.
To your health and success,