I would like to say that while I was on leave I checked in often with world and environmental events going on around me. Monitoring the successes and challenges that green health care folks are faced with, thinking about ways that projects, programs and collaborations could be built, strengthened, and leveraged.

But, I can’t say that. Instead I spent from dawn to dusk learning from my kids. Learning to ask lots of questions, telling simple stories and smelling the roses.  A quiet moment in nature everyday is hard for busy city folk to make happen.  But kids can do it and so should we all.

The research documenting the physical and mental health benefits of being in nature is increasing. Slowing down to appreciate time standing still is energizing and gives you purpose. Kids are experts in the concept of “now”. Many adults have lost the art of being present in the moment.

Shocking really, because today is all we ever really have.  It is obvious that most people don’t think like that, because if we did we would protect today more carefully, appreciate today more fully and be satisfied with what today brought us.

Relearning this lesson could be easy.  If you know a kid, spend some time with them in nature and watch how easy it is for them to be awed by the wind in the trees, be mesmerized by the path of a snail, and proud each time they identify a rose to smell.  

Slowing down, valuing nature, thinking about today is a really good remedy for complex problems. Solutions come when we give them a chance.  Although there is lots to do to preserve nature and the environment for our generation and the ones that follow I plan to do it with more space for reflection, more time for observation and more respect for the nature we have still got.