I finished The Nature Principle and was going to type up notes from the book, but I’ve been a little pre-occupied by other projects. I’ll be sure to get the notes out before the end of my Experience Nature project. Some of the information in the book is too important not to share.
There’s another book about combatting nature deficit disorder by Richard Louv, Vitamin N, and I’ve started listening. Listening to books is easy for me to do, especially while I’m working on yard work at the parks. Plug in my earphones, start my weed-eating for the day, and I’m good to go.
One of the ideas discussed in The Nature Principle was to have a Green Hour, where you go outside, or break away from electronics (or both), for one hour each day. At first, I thought, well, that’s easy for me. But I heard it mentioned again in his new book, and it got me thinking. Am I cheating by saying I have a Green Hour when I work outdoors?
Well, maybe not cheating, but it definitely isn’t ME time. And while I am currently struggling with having enough time to do everything I want to accomplish on any given day, I do think giving myself an hour is important.
I don’t think I have to give up electronics completely. I can state stipulations where I can’t go on Facebook, play games, or watch mindless videos, but it doesn’t hurt to listen to a book, especially if it’s about connecting to nature.
Similarly, I enjoy listening to my iPod while I’m swimming. I’m not blaring a radio, and I’m not disturbing wildlife (in fact, today, I saw a river otter swimming around right after I got out of the water), but music keeps me going while I’m swimming long distances.
There are dozens of other ways I can have a Green Hour and enjoy the outdoors. Our cats are indoor cats, but they love going on supervised excursions downstairs and in the yard. I keep my eye on them, for their safety and for wild animal safety. But The Kid (our older cat) absolutely loves going downstairs, and the weather is so nice, I like to try to give him 20-30 minutes each day to explore nature.
My garden is going berserk right now. I can spend 10-15 minutes each day weeding and tending to my garden. I know I need to cull a few more squash, but it’s hard to decide which ones need to go. Very soon, I’ll be harvesting A LOT of veggies. I already have tons of kale available for us. I have a couple summer squash growing, and several winter squash are coming in nicely, too. There’s going to be some great eating this year, that’s for sure.
The weather is warming up, and now would probably be a good time to start eating lunch or dinner outside. We have been grilling a few nights, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to put out our picnic set and have dinner outside too. We are having picnic dinners once a week at the parks. It’s been really nice. I fix dinner in the crock pot before I head off to work, and then Chris comes to the park for my break and we enjoy a nice dinner together.
My swimming is very much me time. Again, I felt so fortunate to see one of my favorite local animals right after my swim. I often thought if I were an Animagus, I’d turn into an otter in my animal form. They represent fun and free-spirit. And being a water animal, it’s fitting, since the water is my element.
I also try to get out during my breaks and walk some of the many trails around the state parks, especially Fort Ebey.
Having an hour to yourself is important, why not make it extra special and beneficial and make it a Green Hour. Get outside and take some me time to explore nature. Maybe I’ll see you there!