Posted by: COSI | May 11, 2009

Thank Nature for the Gift

Sunday was one of those days that was a pure gift from Mother Nature, and much appreciated. The stress of managing any organization (profit or not-for-profit) during this economy wears you down. Top that with the medical emergency and family death of last week and I was pretty wiped out by the time I returned to Columbus Friday.

While I have adapted an extrovert side to my personality to fit my jobs, I recharge like an introvert—by myself. The best way I’ve found, with a little sleep behind me, is to get outside around nature. Sunday, fortunately, was the perfect day to do that–hop on the bike and just go for miles.

I started out with my usual vigor, but then I observed the vast variety of folks both on the OSU campus as I cut through it and out on the Olentangy Bike Trail—college kids, families, older couples, young runners, bikers, grandparents with grandkids—just about every type and size of individual you could imagine. Many of them were taking their time and absorbing their surroundings, capped with the incredible blue sky with wisps of velvet white clouds. Blue skies over OSU RPAC

I observed one older gentleman, with a hunch who it was, on the opposite side of the wetland near the OSU campus carefully taking in the bird activity the wetland was supporting. I took the hint and backed off the pace and spent more time focused on the woods, the river, the sky. There is such recuperative power in all of this. Bike trail along wetland

At COSI we keep attention to the “power of real,” and being outdoors in nature is one of the ways to tap that power. I could feel the replenishment as I took advantage of that power myself.

As I sucked in the air and energy of the day, I was reminded of the movement that has gotten various names, such as No Child Left Indoors, spurred in part by Richard Louv’s popular book Last Child in the Woods, Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. I also thought about how we need to assure that all children learn of the healing and healthy qualities of just being active outdoors.

And when I came back around the trail, that gentleman was indeed Fred Anderle. I stopped, chatted a bit and asked how his brother, Bob, was doing. (Small world, Bob had been associated with the Buffalo Museum of Science that I’d led before COSI). Fred’s been such a gift to this community through his thoughtful and enlightening talk show on WOSU–glad I’d noticed it was him and took the time to pause in my biking. Yes, Sunday was indeed a gift—one with perfect timing for my needs. Did you get out to enjoy it?


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