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Nature has been everything to me. The mountains are always calling. We all should go chasing waterfalls. Nature is spiritual. It is medicine for the mind.

Since moving back to Colorado over a year ago, I’ve become this outdoor man I didn’t know existed inside me. Anxiety and depression at times, I knew that existed inside me. I never really found a good way of dealing with these issues aside from actual medication and exercise.

Now I can drive 45-minutes and be in the mountains and breath cool, fresh air. Taking deep breaths and hearing nothing but birds, streams, rabbits, wind, and my dog romping around. It’s become my therapy. My medicine. Every few weeks I go on a scenic drive planned around photography, or a hike in The Rocky Mountains or driving hours to catch a sunrise over a lake at 12,000ft. Things like “head flashlight” and “bear whistle” are items I now own.

Over the past five months, I’ve tried to document these wanderings through photographs and reading books (a lot of Ralph Waldo Emerson) on nature and mental health. Hopefully, this collection of photos and RWE quotes will give you a bit of joy, and inspire you to opt outside, go on a walk or drive somewhere for no reason. Always make sure to reset your mind, body, and soul every few weeks. For me, it’s been one of the best ways to deal with anxiety, our political environment, and life’s unexpected bummers.

Aspen

Rocky Mountain National Park

Buena Vista

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Buena Vista

Littleton

Georgetown

“Nature always wears the color of the spirit.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Boulder

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

“The earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Painted Walls

Royal Gorge Bridge

“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Mirage Trading Co.

“For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of piece of mind.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Buena Vista

Sylvan Lake State Park

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Manitou Springs

Paint Mines

Telluride

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Glenwood Canyon

Peak to Peak

“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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All photos by David Dean

-See original piece on Medium