natural scenery inspires

6.30.09 ~ Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
6.30.09 ~ Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

In the interest which natural scenery inspires there is the strongest contrast to this. It is for itself and at the moment it is enjoyed. The attention is aroused and the mind occupied without purpose, without a continuation of the common process of relating the present action, thought or perception to some future end. There is little else that has this quality so purely. There are few enjoyments with which regard for something outside and beyond the enjoyment of the moment can ordinarily be so little mixed. The pleasures of the table are irresistibly associated with the care of hunger and the repair of the bodily waste. In all social pleasures and all the pleasures which are usually enjoyed in association with the social pleasure, the care for the opinion of others, or the good of others largely mingles. In the pleasures of literature, the laying up of ideas and self-improvement are purposes which cannot be kept out of view.This, however, is in very slight degree, if at all, the case with the enjoyment of the emotions caused by natural scenery. It therefore results that the enjoyment of scenery employs the mind without fatigue and yet exercises it, tranquilizes it, and yet enlivens it, and thus, through the influence of the mind over the body, gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system.
~ Frederick Law Olmsted
(America’s National Park System: The Critical Documents)

10 thoughts on “natural scenery inspires”

  1. When we took this picture five years ago we were at a family reunion there. We had a grand time, albeit very emotional.

    1. Having a family reunion in a natural setting like a national park was wonderful – it heightened a sense of the family’s unity with an awesome universe.

    1. Thank you so much Laurie! The picture was taken with my old point and shoot camera and surprised me when it came out so well. I had much less luck with the bear I tried to capture. 🙂

    1. There is Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in Massachusetts – I hope to visit it some day. The website says he “is recognized as the founder of American landscape architecture and the nation’s foremost parkmaker.” A worthy hero!

    1. So happy you enjoyed the combo, Kathy. I want to say that the picture doesn’t do the scene justice, but it almost does, somehow. 🙂 *hugs*

    1. I was blown away – waking up to such extraordinary beauty every morning and then hiking the mountain trails with Tim’s stepsisters. We even saw a bear one day. (And then there was the bathroom full of spiders at the lodge!)

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