"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike."
-John Muir (The Yosemite, 1912)
John Muir wrote those words in reference to the creation of the US National Parks, which preserve some of the most beautiful and irreplaceable scenery in our country-- the perfect places to feel strengthened and refreshed.
If you can't visit these places on a regular basis, the next best thing is to immerse yourself in awesome photos of them, which is what we're doing this Wednesday, courtesy of the US Department of the Interior. With such a serious, official-sounding name, you wouldn't think at first blush that this institution has much of interest to offer, but you would quickly change your mind after about two milliseconds of looking at their dazzling Instagram page with breathtaking photos like this one:
|Source: usinterior on Instagram|
Such a comically modest caption for a stunning photograph of the snow-covered old growth giants in Sequoia National Park.
When I first saw this photo, I probably stared at it for about five minutes without blinking... I could almost feel the cold air stinging my cheeks bright pink, could almost smell the crisp winter air tinged with the piney scent of sun-warmed branches, and could sense the soul-stirring delight of marveling at these massive trees with their bright red trunks standing out in stark contrast to the muted snowy scenery around them.
There are dozens more photos from the US Department of the Interior that are worthy of meditating on for a mid-week nature escape -- much-needed for those of us stuck at a desk!