“I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'”

Way back when my oldest was just little, one of the very few things guaranteed to make her stop crying – and you guys, she was always crying – was to take her outside. A blast of fresh air and she was suddenly content.

I think she gets it from me.

Because when I am *this close* to losing it- and you guys, I’m always this close to losing it – the one sure remedy is to retreat to the woods. Or to the mountains. Or to the sea. Once I’m away from all the noise and the clutter I can feel contentment seep into me like an ointment.

Everything that was tense turns liquid.

Everything that was fire turns sea.

It’s hard to put into words the calming effects of time spent outdoors. Thankfully, others have found a way to do it very well. Here are a few of my favourite quotes that capture the happy factor of salty air in your hair and grass between your toes. (In a pinch, I’ve found that two or three glasses of wine will do the trick, too. :))

Just a warning: By the time you’re through reading them, you’ll be headed for the hills.

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.'” ~ Sylvia Plath

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ~ Rachel Carson

“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky – up – up- up – into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.” ~ L.M. Montgomery

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears or the sea.” ~ Isak Dinesen

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” ~ John Burroughs

“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.” ~ Jack Kerouac

Happy trails.




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