I frequently say that in order to stay grounded in this troubled world we call home, it’s important to get out and actually walk on the ground, preferably in a natural setting, as frequently as possible. There is something primal about clambering over moss and lichen clad rocks for example, or winding your way along a forest trail as the calls and songs of flocks of birds drown out the traffic din. Even an urban park will do, since at least it gets you off of the sidewalk. It’s enough to almost forget the bigger world out there, the one where terrorists attack, armies clash, and civilians are sacrificed and slaughtered in a seemingly unending bloody parade. Even so, staying close to nature does serve as a cleansing respite from the apocalyptic news that spews forth from the radio, TV, and of course the internet. I feel, as I’m sure many of you do too, this responsibility to bear witness to these events, to try to make some sense of it all, and perhaps to take some action to mitigate the worst of the excesses. Yet it becomes easy to be overwhelmed when you look at the catalogue of calamities that happen spontaneously, let alone the looming and sadly predictable crises that will be arriving in due course. So I do what I can through direct action, or by proxy, and by staying involved. At the same time, I stay refreshed by way of staying close to nature, and by appreciating beauty in all its many forms. I stay grounded.