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The Importance of Daily Hikes

By Edited Jun 17, 2015 0 0

I look out my window and I see the trees gently swaying. My four large companions, dogs, lay around like moored boats, signing heavily. They want to go out and play. So does my soul. If you live in a city may be you forget how much your body wants to be outside. The grass is not just greener, it wants your feet. Studies only recently published confirm that humans were meant to walk on the ground in connection with the Earth. Knee injuries in running shoes equaled those in high heels! Yikes, kick your shoes off as you did in childhood and go for a walk.

If you stay away from nature it stays away from you. You start turning off the part of your brain that knows and understands connection. People who live in nature, what we would call "primitive tribes" know instinctively how to leave a small carbon footprint. They spend less time working than the average wage slave. They enjoy each other in small groups. They do not rape topsoil, they do not pollute water, although they may worry with as much grief as we do other the fate of their children.

The ocean is dying. The ocean covers more of the earth than the land we stand on, so we ought to be paying more attention. Fishermen and sailors have noticed for nearly a generation how quiet the ocean has become, how void of life. Looking down into what used to be a jewel of blues and greens, they see garbage. Plastic indestructible garbage is choking the stomachs of much marine life. Birds starve themselves to death thinking the indigestible plastic in their stomachs is food.

So what, you wonder, so what if tuna fish disappear. You tell yourself you'll start eating lamb. It's not that simple. Remember the "Lion King"? The circle of life song? It wasn't ALL Disney fantasy. The animals and plants and the lifeforms are connected, including us. I met a woman once who figure it was ok to litter, because we would just "Evolve" over it. We can't evolve fast enough to deal with the trash the last 50 years has created. We are messing with out only playground here, in a speed race to destruction. Movies of the future show sandy desolate places: A boy and his dog, Mad Max, the Kevin Cosner film where he was a mail man, and the most recent movie with a Biblical theme. We know the end is coming, and watching an entertaining movie to be zoned out for a hour won't save us.

No one is coming to rescue us. The government can't do it. Elected officials are too busy worrying about getting elected again and pleasing the powers that donate to campaigns to do anything marginal regarding our environment. Things won't just take care of themselves. For fifty years we've gutted and pillaged the petroleum sources knowing since the beginning of cars that one day the party would be over. As early as George Washington Carver, scientists have created fuels from renewable sources: peanut oil, grass, corn oil. So what? As long as big business is making a profit for eager stockholders the world will not turn from gasoline. And that's a pity for you and me breathing in carbon monoxide and looking at soot.

Who will care if you don't care? A society ought to be judged on how it treats it's weakest members. Do our children deserve to have clean water, real food, a place to play, animals to look at? Once upon a time, not so long ago, there were lots of elephants in Africa. There were snow leopards with exotic pelts and rhinos with horns. Will they still be here in two generations time? Do you really think any social policy that allows for the death of precious species would be good for us? Every link in the chain matters. Every animal connects in the environment to some other animal, one gone is like a domino effect. Take bees for example. IF they disappear the flowers will not get pollinated. Without pollination whole food sources may disappear. Could you make a bee if you tried? Better to day those that are here.

It was not a coincidence that people began to get crazy forms of cancer after pesticides and herbicides entered our topsoil and water sources en masse. We spend 50 years using a substance with aplomb before realized the effects are dire. Is it the cigarettes causing cancer or the air itself? IF you live in a city chances are every breath you take is laden with toxins.

What can I do? You may wonder. What difference can one person make? I knew a lady who wouldn't wear disposable contact lenses because that was her contribution to less landfill. I like that, it was a conscious choice on her part. ABC = Awareness Becomes Consciousness. Don't try to change everything at once, get overwhelmed and give up. Change what you can. Start by taking a hike. Listen to the trees. They'll tell you what they want. Listen to your kids, they have fun in nature. Listen to your feet when the soles hit the ground. In Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts' character takes Richard Gere out to walk in the mud. It's so corny and so silly, and it's true. Just doing it, is the half of it.

The rest is small steps: ride a bike or walk or take a bus when you can. Give your neighbor a ride. Do you even know your neighbor? When casual carpooling started many people were surprised to learn how close by their neighbors worked to their own work places. Do you really need all the blister packaging you create? Reward companies that pack lightly by buying from them. Think deeply about consumer choices in general, before you buy ask yourself: will this product really change my life, make me happy, make me more attractive to the opposite sex? You don't have to be a drone. You don't have to be a slave to the media. Be a slave to the great outdoors instead. Adventure will restore you.
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