|In the forest along the Bluff Trail at Cama Beach State Park. Lainey Piland photo|
O, money can't buy the delights of the glen,
Nor Poetry sing all its charms:
There's a solace and calm ne'er described by the pen
When we're folded within Nature's arms!
~James Rigg, "Nutting Time," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897
As a person who both enjoys spending time in nature as well as writing and painting pictures with words, the lines above struck me with their humbling and irrefutable truth. Although I try my hardest to recreate and engage my nature experiences in writing to share with others, there are truly no words that can convey the experience of physically being in nature and seeing, feeling, smelling, and hearing everything around you.
There are no words that can effect the same sense of "solace and calm" as even a few moments spent in the outdoors. There are no words that can accurately describe to your eyes the golden hue of late-afternoon sunshine slanting through a dark forest; no words to translate to your feet the feeling of spongy humus cushioning your every step, no words to entice your olfactory receptors with the earthy smell of decaying leaves, crushed pine needles and the air freshly exhaled by trees; no words that will sing the music of trilling birdsong, dripping rain, or whispering breezes into your ears.
While words can educate, motivate, and bring back memories, they will always fall short of transporting the reader completely to that place in nature. Nothing will replace the delight and peace of a few minutes, an afternoon, or an entire day spent in the outdoors. When you're reading about my nature experiences on this blog, don't just take my word for it... go out and discover for yourself!
If you need an idea for getting outdoors this coming weekend, consider heading to a State Park! Sunday January 17th and Monday January 18th are "free days" in honor of Martin Luther King Day. You won't need to pay the $10 fee or have a Discover Pass. Find a park here.