Publication Details

Meaningful nature places: experiencing sacred in the everyday

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Wolf, Kathleen L.; Wyatt, Mary

Year Published

2019

Publication

In: Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hines, Sarah J.; Maddox, David, eds. Green readiness, response, and recovery: A collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-185. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 270-291.

Abstract

Kitty and Tom Stoner traveled to London some years ago, but arrived too early to check into their hotel. Deciding to take a walk, they discovered a small park. The modest but beautiful garden was nestled within a ring of buildings near the city center, similar to spaces found in cities throughout the world. The Stoners were enthralled by this simple place and chance encounter, and made follow-up visits. The space offered a comforting enclosure, and distinct entryways marked transition from a hectic streetscape to a quiet enclave. Informal paths encouraged movement throughout the space, while benches were comfortable places for visitors to rest and reflect. Bench plaques shared stories about generations of users, and how this place of safety and stillness was a destination across historic times of stress and destruction. The epiphany may have had its origin in the altered state of jet lag, but the garden experience tapped deeper reckonings. The Stoner family has enjoyed a variety of nature outings and experiences, even seeking out wilderness in times of personal challenge. Meanwhile Tom, from his career in mass communications, had observed the emergence of new information technologies that make lives busier and people more isolated.

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Citation

Wolf, Kathleen L.; Wyatt, Mary. 2019. Meaningful nature places: experiencing sacred in the everyday. In: Campbell, Lindsay K.; Svendsen, Erika; Sonti, Nancy Falxa; Hines, Sarah J.; Maddox, David, eds. Green readiness, response, and recovery: A collaborative synthesis. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-185. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 270-291. https://doi.org/10.2737/NRS-GTR-P-185-paper19.

Last updated on: May 8, 2019