When I was about 4-years old, my father built me a playset in the backyard (complete with a Jolly Roger flat). When the weather was warm, I spent all of my time playing on it... or riding my bike... or trying to climb trees. When we moved, when I was 6, our new house had a wooded area in the backyard that was quickly transformed into my fort and even in less than wonderful weather, I'd flock to it to read, do homework, and use my imagination until the sun came down and I was called inside.
Even in high school, when I was trying to balance dance team practice, tons of homework, and several part-time jobs, I found myself walking everywhere I could and if possible, I at least had the windows open. In college, I went out of my way to spend time outdoors. When I lived in NYC, Central Park was a favourite hang out.
It's hard to imagine my life without nature.
The nature I live in now looks quite a bit different from the mature, leafy trees of the Midwest. I'm missing the snow-covered evergreens of Germany. But even without the giant trees, lakes, streams, and cool breezes, I still find that every day I spend outside is a day upon which I am recharged.
I don't know what I would do if the natural environment was destroyed. Even here, in Death Valley, a place that so few species are able to call home, I felt a calm that I was able to carry with me for several days after leaving. When joy is able to come from a landscape so barren, it's something to take note of.
Have you ever found positive energy in a place that surprised you?