I think a large number of people — maybe even a majority — need an excuse these days to spend time in nature. For many of us, there has to be a purpose to it. Fishing or hunting, exercise, sight-seeing, inspiration — whatever the reason, there must be some reason. And, in a way, that’s strange.
It’s strange because we didn’t always need an excuse to be in nature. For most of our evolutionary history — for perhaps 260,000 years — we lived in nature because we had to. There was simply no escape from it.
Yet, today, we live in cities that while not entirely artificial, are about as artificial as we can make them. And — for many of us — we feel we need an excuse to get away from that — an excuse to get back to nature.
Isn’t that odd? Our species grew up in nature. In many ways, we are probably even today more profoundly adapted to nature than to the cities we live in, and yet we must make excuses to spend any time at all in nature.