Come to the woods, for here is rest.

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To Fight the Winter Blues, Try a Dose of Nature by Florence Williams (excerpts):

Wintertime is rough on those whom the 19th-century hiker-philosopher John Muir called “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.” But we have an obvious cure for our doldrums: go outside. Though we are months away from the flowers and leafy foliage of spring, a dose of nature can still calm the mind and solidify human bonds. The real question is why we don’t partake more often of this easy balm…

After crunching the data, Dr. MacKerron and Susana Mourato…found people were significantly happier outdoors, especially in natural settings, than they were indoors…But there was a catch: Most of the participants didn’t behave as if they knew this, because they were rarely outside. They were indoors or in vehicles for 93% of their waking hours.

The study reveals our epidemic dislocation from the outdoors—an indictment not just of the structures and expectations of modern life but of our self-understanding. As the writer Annie Dillard famously said, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Why don’t we do more of what makes us happy? Part of the answer is that we’re flat-out busy. But even when we have free time, we’re not always smart about how we spend it…

Because we don’t spend enough time outside to notice that it makes us feel good, we spend even less time outside, replacing it with shopping, social media and so on. We especially “devalue nearby nature,” she says, such as small urban parks and tree-lined streets, because we tend to think they aren’t impressive enough as destinations. Scientists are quantifying the effects of even small doses of urban nature not only on our moods and well-being but also on our ability to think—to remember things, plan, create, daydream and focus… [Read more…]

Learn the news

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I am losing precious days.
I am degenerating into a machine for making money.
I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men.
I must break away
and get out into the mountains
to learn the news.

~ John Muir (1838-1914)


Credits: Image – youreyesblazeout. Quote: Explore-Everywhere

Sunday Morning: Winters of My Life

Over half of the winters of my life have been spent here.  Amazing thing is how unchanging my feeling is for the place…you tear up a bit.  You know as I read my early entries, my first reflections and impressions, I actually like the person that wrote them…I found the right place.

John Weamer arrived at Yosemite on November 25, 1974 to research a doctoral thesis on John Muir and be the winter caretaker of the Ostrander Ski Hut…and he’s still at it almost 40 years later.  He is an acclaimed photographer and sells his works at San Francisco Art shows in the off season.  Check out his amazing work at his website.  This short and moving three-minute clip will give you some sense of his love for Yosemite.

Good Sunday Morning.

Winters of My Life from Jonathan Burhop on Vimeo.


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