The LA Times hosted a health chat with Richard Louv last week, known for describing “nature deficit disorder.” I’m a big fan of his ideas. It’s an ongoing challenge to keep nature, in all its forms, an active part of the lives of our teenagers. We’re in the midst of one success story: the 13- and 14-yr-old are hiking for a week with their grandparents, at the Grand Canyon and in southern Utah (Zion NP, and elsewhere). We didn’t force them to leave their phones here, and my daughter stays remarkably aware of wi-fi zones in the hotels where they stay. But I know that at least their days are spent hiking and phone-free, and this journey with John and Wendy will certainly be a life-long memory for them. If they just survive the 24-hrs/day they’re spending with each other right now…
And look, even cats know the fun of roaming outdoors.
Stop reading this blog. Go outside and walk around the block, or if you’re lucky, up in the woods.
Thanks, Janet, for the hat tip on Louv’s interview.
Now I have a thought about nature deficit disorder. Being a native Midwesterner, what I miss most about living here in southern California are familiar trees, forests, and what are known in the northern Illinois vernacular as “forest preserves.” I love palm trees as much as the next person, for what they represent (wow, I live in a place with PALM TREES??), but for feeding my nature cup, I want to see cardinals and bluejays in a forest of really tall trees of that particular shade of green that seems lacking here in Irvine. For my husband, it’s the ocean that fills his nature cup. So my conclusion is that how you fill your nature cup is unique to every person.
I’m going outside now.