“What I know of the divine sciences and Holy Scriptures, I learned in woods and fields. I have no other masters than the beeches and the oaks.”
– Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
This past weekend, we went on a family camping trip in the local state forest. While we certainly enjoyed ourselves, I will admit that this trip was more a comedy of errors than anything. Camping for any length of time with two boys ages two and one is not the best idea!
Yet, despite the frequent moments of toddler-induced chaos, it was still quite refreshing to be away from the trappings of civilization for a brief time. It reminded me of the importance of doing so on a regular basis.
But enough about me. Here are four reasons you should get outdoors too—even if its just for a hike, a walk, or a bike ride.
1. It’s beautiful
When you live in town, you miss out on a lot of beauty. Sure, plants and animals are still there in limited, controlled quantities amidst the concrete, but manicured lawns and cookie-cutter homes simply cannot compare to the majestic silence of a forest filled with trees that are sometimes more than a century your elder.
But perhaps my favorite part of being away is the stars. Looking up at the studded heavens, it is no surprise to me that many a philosopher was inspired to contemplation by gazing at them. Thousands and thousands, no, millions, of stars fill the canopy of heaven, telling the glory of God, but we city folk hardly ever see them because they are drowned out by the harsh, orange-ish glow of street lamps.
Get outside and experience some real, God-made beauty. You won’t regret it.
2. It’s humbling
Human beings can often be quite proud. We look at our technological advancements, our scientific breakthroughs, and we think that we our the masters of our own fate.