Hi, my name is Sue and I have Nature Deficit Disorder. Oh all right, fine.....I am also addicted to air conditioning. (And I should quit watching Bravo but that's a whole different story.)
Last Sunday afternoon I opened the door with my 2 dogs and was surprised to see a baby hawk on our front stoop. He let out a little squawk that reminded me of E.T. We knew there were hawks nesting in our tree. We had the poopy pavement to prove it. I called the Raptor Center at U MN and they gave me a great alternate theory to him being injured. The babies “fall” out of the nest before they're actually ready to fly. Greg from the RC told me it was ok, leave him alone as much as possible, his parents will take care of him. Turns out Greg was right (sort of) because there are actually 2 babies. I still thought baby #1 seemed hurt.
My neighbors and I did a good job of leaving them alone. I saw both of them eat so that was good. I spent Monday reading and sitting by my front window watching the babies and their mom/dad (?). Prior to Sunday's surprise I hadn't cared enough to even wonder about babies. The first time I heard of our hawks was a neighbor's face book post. They hung a decoy owl in their tree to get rid of the hawks a while ago because their cars were adorned fresh mouse guts and hawk poop every morning.
I knew they'd moved to our tree because of all the poop on our driveway. Not over our cars thankfully. I caught glimpses of the hawks swooping around once in a while but never was curious enough to seek them out. A neighbor pointed to their nest but I thought she was wrong because I knew it had housed squirrels in the past. I asked Greg and he said that they would move in to any old nest they want. I never looked that up for myself because nature deficit had put a damper on my curiosity.
I've been annoyed by the poop because we hadn't had any rain, I don't have a hose that reaches the end of the driveway; and even if I cleaned it up, they'd poop again.
Poop Poop Poop, That's all I noticed. Until Monday. Poop Poop Poop. Lots of Poop Sitting by the window it was easy to hear their calls back and forth with mom and dad. Mom sat in a branch and I watched her for a few hours. One of the babies stayed right in my view, the other moved around more. The baby pecked away at the presidential lawn sign I had kept since 2008. I had my own private zoo exhibit all day. I posted pictures on face book and lots of people thought it was really cool.
So why hadn't I realized it was cool for weeks before? All I focused on was the poop. I have Nature Deficit Disorder. Richard Louv coined the term in his bestselling book, Last Child In The Woods. He expanded further on the concept in his next book, The Nature Principle: Our society, says Louv, has developed such an outsized faith in technology that we have yet to fully realize or even adequately study how human capacities are enhanced through the power of nature. Supported by groundbreaking research, anecdotal evidence, and compelling personal stories, Louv shows us how tapping into the restorative powers of the natural world can boost mental acuity and creativity; promote health and wellness; build smarter and more sustainable businesses, communities, and economies; and ultimately strengthen human bonds. As he says in his introduction, The Nature Principle is "about the power of living in nature—not with it, but in it. We are entering the most creative period in history. The twenty-first century will be the century of human restoration in the natural world."
In my case I have been willingly glued to my laptop for a few years. It is only in this last year that I justify it because I'm usually reading about upcoming books and
doing bookstore stuff. Prior to that I logged a lot of time surfing the web.
One related reason I have developed Nature Deficit is due to my inability to cope with oppressive humidity. I hate hot/humid weather. I love cool breezes. I love snow. I would like to get out and appreciate nature more but its too damned hot. I need an attitude adjustment. And a cure for my Nature Deficit. From now on whenever I find poop on the pavement I will look up to see the beautiful creature who.......well maybe I'll take a few steps to the side and then look up.