If you find yourself bouncing off the walls, remove the walls.

Medical research from around the world takes note of the health benefits of being outside. In some countries doctors can actually prescribe a trip to the forest for a patient. But medicine is just catching up to what artists have known pretty much forever.

Hiking, paddling, or simply being in nature can help us gain a sense proportion. Staring in the face of a coming storm, watching an eagle soar and swoop on the hunt, or taking in a sunrise atop a hill or on the beach remind us that there are larger forces at work than those inside our heads. Among a group of people who once dedicated their lives to something greater than themselves, some of whom came home disillusioned, or with moral injuries, this sense of perspective—of awe—can illuminate new paths to creativity and to peace.

So we run some of our workshops in natural or wilderness environments. We’ve partnered in the past with The Wilderness Society and are working to continue our outdoor programming. If your organization is interested in partnering with us in this, please reach out to our director Ron Capps, at ron@veteranswriting.org.