We should all know someone who reminds us of the joys of natural phenomena. These are people who drag you into a snowstorm to feel the cold kiss of snowflakes on your cheek. They grab your book from your hand, toss it aside, and say, “The potato chip box is ready; it’s time for the transit.”

My natural advisor is Rubbertoes.  Always cautious of my safety, Rubbertoes made sure I could experience the alignment of Venus, Earth, and sun without frying my eyeballs. He constructed a viewing device using a potato chip box and a pin. It didn’t matter how ridiculous we looked in the front yard. This was an event we would not see again in our lifetimes. The next time Venus crosses directly between the Earth and the sun will be 2117.

This is typical of my life with Rubbertoes, and it is the stuff that makes life interesting. We bundle in sleeping bags and lie on a hill in November as the Leonids meteor shower rains down on us. We joust with huge Minnesota mosquitoes to see constellations on a starry night. Sometimes we know what we are seeing, sometimes not. I have given Rubbertoes numerous star charts, which he keeps forgetting to pack on camping trips. (A scientific note: the Leonids appear to “fall” from the constellation Leo.)

This is about more than taking the time to “stop and smell the roses” or watch the Leonids. The predominant color in nature is green. If you practice yoga, you probably know that green is the color of the heart chakra, your healing energy. Follow the equation and you see that nature heals. So why aren’t we just bathing in nature? Are we afraid of mosquitoes or too lazy to stay up late and watch a star shoot across the sky?

When I come back from a vacation with Rubbertoes, I seldom remember the restaurants, but I always clutch a memory of nature to my heart. So the next time you see some goofball in his yard with a potato chip box on his head—probably looking at an eclipse or some other strange sighting in the sky—don’t laugh at him. Walk up to him and say, “Will you be my friend?”

It will change your world.