The Joys of Nature

Today, These Running Shoes of Mine and Choose Joy are teaming up to bring you…the joys of nature. It all started last week when I was reading Anne Frank’s diary. I noticed that she had a lot of wisdom about life, but she had some especially interesting thoughts about finding happiness in nature:

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

This came from a girl who hadn’t been outside for two years. She understood something that most of us never have to think about: the smallest things can bring joy, like just going outdoors, seeing the sunshine, watching a leaf float on the breeze.

I’ve made it a personal goal to go hiking at least a few times a month, preferably once a month. I mean, what’s the point of living in the mountains if you don’t enjoy them. And there’s so much to enjoy.

The other day, I went up Cottonwood Canyon to hike the Mill D North Trail. It was lovely, all towering aspens and wildflowers. And joy.

Wasatch Mountains hiking Mill D North Trail


The Mill D North Trail runs through the Mount Olympus Wilderness—and along Mill D North Fork (a creek)—in Big Cottonwood Canyon. Just take Big Cottonwood Canyon Road to road FR019, and then a little bit further. The trailhead and parking are just to the left of the road. (Yes, I know those aren’t exactly precise locations. I’m hopeless at directions. If I ever stop blogging, it’s because I got lost in the wilderness and died. And by wilderness I mean the backyard). Luckily, you can depend on All Trails for those deets.

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Basic Info:

  • The trail forks to either Dog Lake to the left or Desolation Lake to the right (again, those precise directions).
  • 7.8 miles, 2024 feet elevation to Desolation Lake
  • 4.8 miles, 1489 feet elevation to Dog Lake
  • Meadow and mountain hike
  • Lakes!

Final Musings:

Did being in nature make me happier? I’d say so. It gave me peace and, as Anne Frank said, solace. There’s joy in beauty, and there’s beauty all around as long as you’re willing to look:

“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left – in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you. Look at these things, then you find yourself again, and God, and then you regain your balance.”

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