Friday, July 11, 2008


By Lonnie Cruse

One of the first words children usually learn is "out" or "outside." They will stand by a window or screen door and point and beg to go out. That's because they know it's good out there.

Hubby and I like to walk at Massac Park, down by the river. Recently we noticed a couple of new paths leading into the woods, covered by gravel. He checked at the park office and learned that there is a hiking trail that follows along the river. This morning we hiked the first part of it and spotted several deer, some squirrels, and lots of birds. We hope to go back and complete the four mile (one way) trail sometime soon.

I've been hearing for some time that busy people need to take time to do nothing. Or at least nothing that has to do with their usual occupation. Doesn't matter what we do, butcher, backer, candlestick maker, we all need a break sometimes. Particularly writers who spend hours on end sitting in front of a computer screen, praying for inspiration to strike (or lightning, should inspiration fail.) I was thinking about that on our walk. It is such a beautiful time of year, I'd like to suggest to all of you a nature walk or hike, to recharge, refresh, renew. Stave off burnout.

I'm a "glass is half full" rather than "half empty" person, but if we don't renew our creative juices from time to time by doing other things, taking time away, we could empty our own glass to the point of being difficult to refill. And there IS a life out there somewhere, beyond the computer screen. We need to live it as well as write about it.

You're on a deadline? Great. Good luck with it. But take time to recharge, refuel, enjoy, or you likely won't make the deadline. Or survive it.

Don't forget the bug spray and sun screen. And your camera.


caryn said...

Hi Lonnie,
I apologize if two variations on this post appear-the first time I tried I got a technical error message but was assured the post was saved, but it didn't seem to turn up so I'm redoing it)
The trail along the river sounds beautiful! When we travel we often look for parks ect to get out and stretch by taking alittle hike instead of just stopping at a rest park.
I read a bout recently for review titled The Last Child in Nature. It was basically a hand book on how to reconnect with nature. The research behind the book was interesting, but I was surprised (and dismayed) that we needed a handbook on connecting with nature. But then I started watching people-particualrly children. You know what? A lot of kids DON'T play outside. They don't like being outdoors (no airconditioning and the bugs) and they don't know HOW to play. Who knew the time would come when we had to teach kids how to play?
Sad indeed.
Anyway, it is an interesting book, not just geared to teachers or parents but really everyone. In the meantime, I'm on my way out the door to take a walk-or the dogs are taking me for a drag-whichever-it will be outdoors!

Lonnie Cruse said...

No problem, Caryn, thanks for stopping by. I agree, many kids do not know how to play outside nowadays. Air conditioning and TV. Sigh.

That said, we hiked at Natural Bridge near Lexington, KY this week and though the "easy" trail is only one mile long, it's very steep to reach the bridge. I noticed several families with kids making the hike,and enjoying the view. Camping families do seem to get out and enjoy nature, which is great. Now, if we can just entice the non-campers out . . . .

Sandra Parshall said...

My problem is that when I take time off from writing, I never want to go back. Right now, for example, I'd much rather be out in the garden taking photos of the butterflies...