Random thoughts from an animal-loving French prof / mom of three on things she finds beautiful, funny, sad, or strange.

Friday, August 21, 2015

There's Knowing, Then There's Knowing...

A few weeks ago, I read this article:

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

I totally get it. Walking, nature, they are definitely good for body and soul. When workplace drama gets me down, I lace up my running shoes and get the heck out of Dodge. When writer's block is sitting on my brain like an obese bull elephant, I grab those shoes and walk, often to a quiet place where I can just sit and quiet my mind. (The Cumberland riverbank, just above the Falls, is a particular favorite.) When my son is off the deep end and my nerves have been frayed to scorched tips? You guessed it. I lace up my Nikes and go, and go, and go.  Does this mean my problems go away? Nope. Not at all. Melodramatic colleagues and students, writer's block, a mentally ill child, you name it, it's still waiting when I get back. Yet somehow, it's different. It's different because I'm different. I recognize myself again and with that kind of grounding, I can take on the world at least one more time.

Yet something about this article has been bugging me for a while, namely this. Why, in today's world, do we not believe what we know to be true until science "proves" it?  How is a brain scan more valid than the deep-seated knowledge that my time outdoors has saved my sanity more times than I can count? Don't get me wrong. I love science. It has given the world so much. Brain science in particular is making it possible as never before to help troubled people like my son. Yet science isn't everything. Sometimes you just have to listen to your soul to find all you need to know.

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