Nature Therapy

Marty at a fork in the trail, gaining strength to proceed

“This is crazy. She is telling me to go back to Highway 43 South to Lake Oswego again,” Eddy said.

I replied, “We already did that — GPS is in a loop. Ignore her; turn right at the next light and it will take us down to OHSU.”

“OK, but I just hate it it when Roberta gets fouled up,” Eddy said, referring to the woman in our GPS.

I need a break from modernity with all its helpful smart devices and services demanding attention and obedience. I want to set out on a footpath without electronics, maps, guidebooks and cameras — just put one foot in front of the other at a pace that is comforting. Or maybe paddle a kayak, even in the city, pushing off from the shore, letting go of a deep breath. Whew.

I’ve wondered if being in nature is good for my health, given that walking outdoors, and especially being in the forest feels good, even if I return home tired and sore. On the new popular books cart at Multnomah County Library, I noticed The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams. She recaps her travels and interviews to answer the question: does regular activity in nature improve health? Based on her interviews Florence makes a convincing case that science says yes!

I’ve decided to plunge into Nature and spend more time during the summer of my 70th year in the Cascade Mountains taking some nature therapy. Yes, there are a tri-weekly infusions, imaging, medical appointments, and life to work around. Nonetheless, it seems doable and worthwhile. Eddy wants to come along; time to seize the day!