People who spend time with nature are better balanced; better able to distinguish what is the cause and what is the effect; what is logic and what is fractured logic; whether an event is closer to a kid falling off a bicycle or more like a train wreck; whether a dose is closer to a quart of whiskey or a teaspoon of beer; what makes sense and what is ‘fake news’.
They have ‘common sense’. They are more understanding and generous toward other people. They are even better looking, because their faces reflect their greater inner peace.
So says a new (2017) book “The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative” by Florence Williams. She backs up this claim with a whole book-full of statistical studies. Some specific benefits of time with nature she lists are lower stress levels, better ability to focus, more creative, less fatigue and anxiety.
We in our scattered northern communities live with nature every day. We have to watch for deer, moose, bears, other critters everywhere we drive. Our skies are full of birds. We have open country within minutes of all of our doors. We are bird-watchers and moose-hunters and blueberry pickers and mushroom pickers and gardeners and hobby farmers and real farmers.
We are hobby trappers and real trappers, keeping a balance between predators and prey in our wilderness. We manage the forest, working every day harvesting and planting and tending trees. We live along the myriad waters of our beautiful north; we are fishermen and watersports enthusiasts.
We are ice fishermen and snowmobile enthusiasts. We are pilots, travelling our beautiful skies. We are prospectors. We even go finding those funny-looking growths on birch trees which we are told are so healthy. Or we just spend time outside in our long summer days, enjoying the parks and wilderness paths in our urban areas.
Many of us have what we call ‘camps’ and city people call cottages, small lakeside houses where we are immersed in nature. Which we can access in minutes on a pleasant country road, not hours on a clogged freeway, as city folk spend getting to their cottage on a tiny pond or a polluted great lake.
Those few who can afford it at all. Some of us spend time at the hundreds of commercial wilderness resorts and campgrounds and Provincial Parks which dot our country – it is simply amazing how Midwestern Americans all seem to know our country from trips or reports of trips to our resorts, although they only have a vague idea as to where Toronto is (as Toronto has only a vague idea as to where we are).
So are we smarter, especially as to ‘the environment’, more balanced, more generous, more capable, clearer-thinking than city folk? Of course we are. That is what makes us resent their superior attitude, viewing us all as some kind of rustic inferior children who need their guidance. Using their greater numbers, trying to force us into their inbred city worldview.
Oh well, we are right, and we will win in the end!