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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Time Out...Fighting Nature Deficit Disorder

There's something about the woods. The sun peeks through the canopied trees. A creek babbles along over rocks, rushing under foot bridges, foaming in corners along its path. Passers-by nod in unison that all is right in their world, at least while we are all here in the woods.

We are blessed here in our pocket of New England. We have wooded and paved trails, once railways, now havens, for those who seek fitness of body, mind and spirit.

The sensory experience we cull from our outside time is important. We breathe fresh air, we take in vitamin D, and we stimulate those primal areas of our brains as we reconnect to the earth. And as my husband says, the mosquitoes and bears need no mention. ;-)

Some run, some bike, some blade, some stroll.

Some tune into each other, and walk hand in hand...our personal favorite.

Some chat, some share space...we like this too.

Some tune out the world, opting for dark glasses and a motivational beat.

Some tune in to their own hearts and heads, to be with their thoughts.

Our path is shared, but our steps our own.

Getting outside and into the woods is a valuable sensory experience that so many of us lack in our daily lives. Bound by long work hours indoors, we are often tuned into our climate controlled pods, saturated with various media, artificial colors, scents, flavors and textures.

This disconnect to nature, Richard Louv says, results in a loss of empathy, sense of stewardship, an overall apathy for the environment and the natural world.  Nature Deficit Disorder, while studied mostly among children (as explored in Last Child in the Woods) can affect any of us.

Here's a slightly humorous look at NDD from Matador.

But it's easy to reconnect. '

Even if you're not blessed with rail trails like we are, you probably have a place outside where you feel at peace. Maybe it's the beach, a favorite park, your garden, or the solace of your back yard. Seek it out. Find or create sanctuary from the artificial sensory stimulation of life and reconnect with the natural beauty of the world outside your door.


  1. Kelly, thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog.

    I'd never heard of Nature Deficit Disorder before, but it's a great description of what ails so many of us. Thanks for spreading the word. And what a lovely area you live in!

  2. I love the woods. But being an upstate New Yorker, I'm surrounded. Love old rail trails that are now places to hike and bike. It's always a great way to get out, connect with nature and clear your mind!

  3. The outdoors is my favorite place to be (and also indoors looking through a sliding glass door to the outside). Put me near a body of water or a peaceful forest and I'm in heaven!