"Tell me what you will of the benefactions of city civilization, of the sweet security of streets - all as part of the natural upgrowth of man toward the high destiny we hear so much of. But I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found. If the death exhalations that brood the broad towns in which we so fondly COMPACT ourselves were made visible, we should FLEE as from the plague. All of us more or less are sick.
"Go now and then to the wilds for fresh life - if most of humanity must go through this town stage of development - just as divers hold their breath and come ever and anon to the surface to breathe. Go whether or not you have faith. Form parties, if you must, be social, go to the snow-flowers in winter, to the sun-flowers in summer. Anyway, go up and away for life; be fleet.
"I know some will heed the warning. Most will not, so full of slavery is the boasted freedom of the town, and those who need rest and clean snow and sky the most will be the last to move. Once during my childhood on the farm in Wisconsin I was let down into a deep well into which choke-damp [carbonic acid] had settled, and nearly lost my life. The deeper I was immersed in the invisible poison, the less capable I became of willing measure to escape from it. And in just this condition are those who toil or dawdle or dissipate in crowded towns, in the sinks of commerce or pleasure."
The Contemplative John Muir
This week, all National Parks are free of admission! Take some time to explore YOUR parks :)
Photos: Pasqueflowers at Vedauwoo, WY and at Lory State Park, CO
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.