Aside from the physical benefits of exercise, however, there are myriad joys from observing the natural world. When one takes time to actually see the minnows in the water, or the feathers caught in an eddy near molting geese, there is a sense of connectedness and the joy of creation.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
"Wandering" is not a dirty word.
When I hear the admonition to make sure that ALZ afflicted folk shouldn't "wander" I bristle a bit. I get the point that at certain stages of decline it is sometimes dangerous to oneself and stressful for a caregiver to let the Alz afflicted family member "wander". But in my experience of wandering, I have to say that there is extraordinary therapeutic benefit to being out of doors, wandering, as Wordsworth put it, "lonely as a cloud." I have spent my life wandering aimlessly among the streams and hills and rocks, often wading in rivers up to my waist, in the cool days of Summer and the the crisp afternoons of Fall. From the standpoint of getting lost, in fact, wandering or meandering along a stream is one of the easiest ways NOT to get lost. The river is one way: you're either going up-stream, or down, which makes way-finding pretty easy. Of course, I always have a cell phone with me, and a day-pack with water, extremely dark chocolate, excellent binoculars, a Peterson's Field Guide to the Birds of North America, and a wad of bum-wipe, just in case!