As you have probably guessed by now, I am an advocate for getting outside. I believe that spending just a few minutes outside, and away from the noise of the city, can improve one’s mood dramatically. I call it nature therapy. I also believe that being physically active is just as important as breathing. I am a much nicer and calmer person if I have had my "outside" time. If you have had a bad day, go take a walk. Or, if you need to clear your head, take a hike. And, one of the best places to take a hike is in the woods.
There is something magical about taking a walk in the woods. Each season has it’s own beauty and treasures to be discovered. Spring is one my favorite times of the year to hike, especially early spring, with the remnants of winter still visible and the new green of life emerging. It is a treat for all the senses, with the smell of dirt, the sound of birds; the crunching of leaves and sticks under your feet and the breeze rattling the branches. I always come away feeling renewed.
New life emerging from the earth.
New paths to unexpected places. This one took my brother and I to the mouth of the creek that flows behind my parent's house. The only sounds were the ribbiting frogs and our feet squelching in the mud.
Tiny treasures discovered under the leaves.
Bare feet to touch the earth once again after a long winter. Children are naturally curious about the world around them. Spending time outside with children is a great way to connect and explore together. See the world through the eyes of child and you will be amazed all over again.
There are many great places to go hiking in and around South Bend. One of my favorites is Fernwood Botanical Gardens and Nature Preserve. You can check out a pass from the library for yourself and family for free (up to 6 people)!
If you are in the mood to read a bit more about the many ways to love and enjoy nature, try these titles.