The last several years have seen a spate of books published about living a life closer to nature. They range in topic from how spending time in nature improves our health, enriches our lives and our children's lives, provides us with a sense of beauty and transcendence, deepens faith, improves creativity, and much more.
I have created a list of my favorite books from this genre that I hope you enjoy this holiday season:
Author Richard Louv wrote this book to help rejuvenate kid's connections to nature, as newer research shows that the natural world offers powerful therapy for depression, obesity, and attention deficit disorder. Nature-based education can improve standardized test scores, grade-point averages, problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making. Some evidence suggests that childhood experiences in nature make kids more creative.
The Book includes:
- 500 activities for children and adults
- Dozens of inspiring and thought-provoking essays
- Scores of informational websites
- Down-to-earth advice
I highly recommend this book if you have children and are interested in spending more time outside.
She writes: "The natural world...is an alluring invitation into the sacred, into relationship with something larger."
A good choice for anyone interested in nature as a way to deepen one's faith and spirituality.
Partly a memoir and part instructional, this book focuses heavily on living more closely with nature as one way to experience wonder. Blackie talks about this type of enchantment grounded in the natural world in which we take time to explore and revel:
Because enchantment, by my definition, has nothing to do with fantasy, or escapism, or magical thinking: it is founded on a vivid sense of belongingness to a rich and many-layered world; a profound and whole-hearted participation in the adventure of life...It respects wild things, recognizes the wisdom of the crow, seeks out the medicine of plants. It rummages and roots on the wild edges, but comes home to an enchanted home and garden. It is engaged with the small, the local, the ethical; enchanted living is slow living.
“A study with three million participants where people recorded how happy they were feeling twice a day at random times found that people are significantly and substantially happier outdoors in all-green or natural habitat types than they are in urban environments, even when accounting for a vacation effect. It was a stronger difference in joy than being alone vs. being with friends, singing vs. not singing, or sports vs. not sports.”
“Yet the respondents were indoors or in vehicles 93% of the time. How we spend our days is how we spend our lives. Why don’t we do more of what makes our brains happy? People may avoid nearby nature because a chronic disconnection from nature causes them to underestimate its hedonic benefits.”
A good book that inspires us to hike, garden, or just spend more time outside enjoying the beauty of the natural world.
Why You Should Create Your Own Culture to Be Happier
Beauty in Philosophy, Ethics and Art: A Conversation with David Fideler
5 Ways to Counterbalance an Ugly and Barren Cultural Landscape