If there is one resolution for me, it’s to spend more time in nature. I’ve always hiked, but it was always a means to an end. It was for exercise and not just observing the beauty around me. That is one thing that has to change for me going forward. I went on my normal walk yesterday morning, and instead of just walking, I decided to sit next to the lake at my nearby park. Sitting by the lake, I just watched. I watched the trees sway in the wind, the ducks rest on the water, and the birds fly in the air. It was peaceful. A peacefulness I don’t receive all too often in a society that tells me I have to keep going.
Nature was always important to me but for the wrong reasons. I saw the plants I bought for my environment as a means to becoming peaceful. I didn’t appreciate the plants for what they were. It’s probably the reason why most of them die pretty quickly. The only reason I would water a plant is the benefits it could give me. It’s not hard to see this relationship with the people in our lives. It was purely transactional. I give you water. You give me peace. I’m happy to have a new perspective on nature and just about anything that doesn’t have the effect of human interference.
It doesn’t change that nature has immense benefits with immersing oneself in nature. Studies show that our mental well-being is linked to how close we are to green and blue (bodies of water) areas. It’s probably why housing close to nature is more expensive. Ponder on that for a minute or two. It’s also said that being in nature helps hone our positive emotions, vitality, and attention span. If one is feeling sad, a great way to remedy this is to simply sit under a tree or near a lake, as I did.
A New Perspective on Nature
You know what’s crazy. It’s popular opinion that the COVID-19 pandemic was a bad thing. I’m starting to see another perspective on what we faced for two years. I was a big gym goer, but gyms were closed. I saw exercise as very important, and the only way I knew to get my body moving without the help of a gym was through body exercises in my apartment, playing basketball (usually by myself), and walking in a park.
The pandemic forced me to go outside more than I normally did. It was a blessing I took for granted because the exercises were my priority for getting outside. I was more concerned with the number of steps I walked than seeing the ladybug fly onto a flower or a squirrel nibble on an acorn. When the gym was deemed safe, I returned to what I knew. I never acknowledged that being outside in nature was always safe.
My objective now when going on walks is to feel my connection with the plants and animals. Humans aren’t used to it because we tend to separate ourselves from nature in a hierarchy that says we are better than the critters and the trees. I want to be better able to engage in my surroundings instead of using it as a tool. I want to observe Earth’s creations without giving them meaning. Then, I want to integrate what I’ve learned from the real world into this world full of illusions.