A story broke locally here the other day about Pen State University's Outing Club no longer being allowed outside based on a "descision" by administration, and "deemed to be to dangerous." Going down the rabbit hole of information on the web, the press that they are receiving is based on oodles of paperwork to be sure of student safety, proper protocols for health and safety, a no alcohol policy, and more. And while these seem obvious inclusions to any rock climbing or kayaking expedition, more and more frequently it seems like the great outdoors and the education it gives us is moving further out of our reach.
This is troublesome in so very many ways to me, for many reasons. One-it creates detachment from the Earth, her wonders, beauty. And HOW to keep her healthy. If folks don't see what is happening , they can turn a blind eye to environmental issues. Two, our children are being raised with, to quote a favorite author Richard Louv, "Nature Defecit Disorder" They are being disconnected from the natural world and the benefits it offers by spending time outdoors. Children that are exposed to green spaces. show enhanced cognitive development, Allowing exploration outdoors gives a chance to see science in action. Being barefoot in the grass, standing among the trees has been shown to reduce stress hormones and boost immunity. In a world where a young boy has been quoted in the above book to say his "favorite place is indoors because that's where all the plugs are" that is pretty huge. Most humans spend 90% of their time indoors.....that is saying something, and it doesn't bode well. Indoors we are being deprived of something miraculous . Getting dirty , being exposed to the panacea of natural organisms in the soil strengthen the immune system. Climbing, hiking and exploring build physical strength. Looking for rocks teaches geology, and foraging for plants shows the medicine and food that exist right in our backyard .
Fear of injury ( or the lawsuit that can follow) on an outdoor excursion, the unpredictability of environmental conditions, or the disease of our age-"busy" are taking us away from the healthiest prescription we can give ourselves.....a large dose of vitamin Nature.
Its healthy, it will make you happier, and....its free. A gift for us all. The acceptance is our choice.
My musings as I travel around the sun in this lifetime. I am fortunate beyond words to experience life as it comes to me. The people I meet, the experiences I have, all are my teachers. I write about nature, healing with the medicine that Panchamama offers us in the Wise Woman traditions, the connection between Mind, Body, Spirit, our children for they are the future, and how we can show them a better way through a reconnection to the Earth we all share.