I grew up outside.

We lived outside of a small town in the mountains, in a place called The Valley of the Pines (side note: older kids from town would always rearrange the “e” and “i” in pines, so that was one of the first words I knew how to spell). I had a huge world to explore, and I did.

I’ve always enjoyed nature when I am healthy, and avoided it when I wasn’t.

In high school I was really into rock climbing and camping, and when I focused on these things everything was cool. I made good choices and had positive activities in my life. When the drinking and drugs started to take hold, these things went out the window.

Growing up in the mountains is cool, I was a very fortunate kid.

I think I learned a lot from it, and it was waiting for me once I got my life sorted out and started getting healthy again. I honestly believe there aren’t many things we need to know that we cannot learn from nature.

It’s funny that we have all come to believe that we have to “get away” to nature, that we have to take a vacation or make a thing out of it.

Nature is everywhere, all the time.

It finds a way to survive and thrive no matter what is going on. The weeds in the sidewalk and the puddles on the ground are nature. Nature is with us everywhere we go because, no matter how technological and advanced we become as a species, we are nature.

There’s no escaping it.

I don’t know why anyone would even try.