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We all look at nature too much

We all look at nature too much, and live with her too little.

– Oscar Wilde

So we all need to slow down — take a break from the pace and the chaos that drives us. School, work, activities that consume entire weekends — all of which are dominated by smart phones, smart speakers, and dozens of applications that command our attention much more than they should.

And while all of this technology might provide convenience, it also distracts us from some of life’s more fundamental and rewarding pleasures, principally that of Mother Nature — the vast and patient screen of color, shapes, and sounds that are the backdrop of our hectic schedules.

As a community, Westhaven relies heavily on its natural environment, and if you will take a moment to be still and look around, you will see its significance in locations both dense and open.

One way Westhaven residents can get back to the true outdoors is to wander the meandering trail system that winds beyond the homes in the neighborhood. Whether you walk, run, bike, or simply stroll, you will find that the trails in Westhaven offer a beautiful respite from stress and the daily grind. Conceptualized and maintained by Westhaven residents, the 10-mile trail system will immerse you in the wooded hillsides that are emblematic of the Middle Tennessee landscape.

“Westhaven is comprised of approximately 1500 acres,” said Amy Law, Director of Community Management. “Over the years, we have found that our residents are looking for outdoor activities that take advantage of both the urban and natural elements of the overall neighborhood. The trail system perfectly complements the sidewalk network. Over the course of a half-hour walk you can go from the heart of town center to the heart of the woods. That is a unique amenity and one that people take full advantage of. And the fact that the trails were conceived and built by residents is even more special.”

A community’s ability to strike a balance between the natural and built environments is critical. The convenience of modernization is ultimately augmented by our connection to nature. Nothing allows you to re-set your busy life and put things in perspective quite like the orange light of dusk through a tree canopy, or the siting of deer alert and foraging in a meadow of tall grass. Its simplicity has a nourishing effect.

And given our busy lives, we can all use a little more of that . . . 

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