The wisdom of nature and a 9-year-old

I’m a self-proclaimed and committed city girl. No bones about it. My favorite place is a city, whether it’s West Coast, East Coast, in-between or European, I feel my personal best “at home” in a city.

Maybe it’s the energy, the pace, the plethora of arts and culture at your fingertips, all I know is that a city will always be my happy place.

With that said, I feel the need to connect with nature – the raw, awe-inspiring, make-me-feel-like-a-tiny-speck-in-the-universe kind of nature – from time to time. This need to connect is a human need – both physical and emotional/spiritual. A need as essential to our health and wellbeing as eating right and exercising. Honestly, it’s hard to overstate how healing it is spending time in nature for us mere mortals.

All you have to do is Google “research on healing in nature” and stand back and watch the studies scroll by. It’s amazing, and yet, instinctively, I believe we all know how real it is.

If I wanted to give myself a “should,” it would be that I should make more of an effort to spend time in nature frequently – outside of my own garden.

I recently had occasion to spend several days and nights in Yosemite with hubby and some of our family. For many reasons, family being the first, it was a truly wonderful, magical time.

We had a couple of days of soft rain, during which we did a fair amount of hiking, traversing the Valley. Soaking wet and cold at the end of the day, everyone was filled up and truly in awe of what we had seen that day. The joy of being in that wonder of wonders together is a gift none of us took lightly.

Michael and I have been to Yosemite many times, and yet each time, the magnificence of it never gets old. This time, however, seeing it with grandchildren who were experiencing it for the first time was a wonder in and of itself.

Yosemite is like an old friend to us. Even though our dear park was clearly exhibiting some signs of stress and impact from the severe drought that California has been through the last few years, we know she’ll be back stronger than ever. Her place in this world is too important.

My grandson, Jedediah, neatly summed up our experience of Yosemite when he said “YaYa, I could live here.”

I’m with you, buddy, I’m with you.

Even an old city girl can change her ways.

How about you? What’s your happy place – city or country/nature? Do you make time to commune with nature regularly?

Till next time,



[photos by Michael McLane]


  1. Mandy
    April 25, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    These photos make me want to visit Yosemite right now!

    • April 25, 2017 / 6:01 pm

      Thanks, Mandy. I know what you mean — I want to go back right now! 🙂

  2. April 25, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    Loved your post on nature and the mountains, namely Yosemite! My husband Brad and I are huge wilderness fans which we embrace yearly in our glorious national parks and forests.

    Unlike you, Judy, I am not a city folk–I have always been drawn to the mountains and their surroundings. Cities change constantly from one visit to the next–you never know if that favorite restaurant or inn is going to be there on your subsequent visit. Mountains on the other hand seem to remain constant, predictable and very GROUNDING. (no pun intended). Of course they change, but very slowly and over eons of time and most of us would never perceive the differences. For Brad and me, they are like mammoth charging stations: we plant our feet, walk long distances and absorb their energy and serenity. Yes, we are tired after completing these treks, but energized at the same time, and feeling a strong sense of balance in our lives.

    • April 25, 2017 / 6:04 pm

      Love your perspective, Cheri. You’re right. How grounding and peaceful it is to know that the magnificence of nature is a constant in our lives (hopefully for future generations as well).

  3. Pam
    April 25, 2017 / 12:29 pm

    Magnificent pictures by Michael !!!! Awe inspiring ! Being in nature makes me feel happy , peaceful and full of hope for our troubled world . Thanks for another beautiful article !

    • April 25, 2017 / 6:05 pm

      Thanks, Pam. I’ll let Michael know you enjoyed his images. He’s so handy to have around on trips to such beautiful places. 🙂

  4. Candy
    April 26, 2017 / 3:53 pm

    Glorious pictures! I can almost hear the squeals of delight and awe by the kids…soaking wet and loving it. As for me, as much as I absolutely love the energy and life of a city, I am awed by nature. I’m brought to my knees by the beauty and the majesty. I feel pretty small in a grove of redwood trees thousands of years old. I feel a connection to something greater than myself. It nourishes me.

  5. Angela
    April 28, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Those pics are ah-mazing Judy. I love Yosemite and the tranquility there. But for me, the beach is my Mecca . . . the sound of the ocean and smell of the salt (or ok, maybe cocoa butter). It’s my calming and soul-grounding place.

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