The natural world has always been my sanctuary, my go-to place when I’m having a wobble, feeling stressed, lack clarity or feeling anxious.
It’s a place that has been there for all of us since the very beginning, and right now it is a welcome relief from these puzzling and overwhelming times.
Mother Nature holds space for us in a way nothing else can. With her non-judgmental nurturing influence, she has the ability to soothe and calm even the busiest and complicated of minds. She holds our pain, our suffering and our grief with a gentle embrace that stretches as far as the imagination allows. She allows us to feel a connection that at the moment is so needed, at a time when we feel isolated from our loved ones, our friends, our life as it was and perhaps even ourselves. She reminds us that we are all still connected, everything is connected, life is connected and although our experiences are different, it is all very much the same.
During lockdown my family and I have lived a very isolated existence; we live in a house in the woods on a country estate. We have no neighbours, no traffic, no hustle and bustle. At the best of times we are pretty isolated, but this has been something else, something completely different. Our experience is quite different from someone who lives in a town or a city. We have had weeks when we have seen no one at all, not even a walker or a cyclist.
The last few months have been trying for us all to say the least, with little to do and few places to go. And undoubtedly people have been flocking outside. Families, couples, individuals out for walks and runs, perhaps rediscovering the simple pleasures that were once tied up in work, school and everyday life. Never have we seen so many people walking the public footpath near our home. Never have we seen so many people gaining solace from nature. A need for the outdoors has been almost forced upon us with people craving fresh air at any given opportunity. We’re seeing a new-found appreciation of a love of the garden, regardless of size and shape.
Relief can be found in nature so it’s not surprising that during these tricky times this is what people have naturally turned to.
Science tells us that nature is good for us in so many ways. There are many studies that tell us that we find physical relief and restoration from simply being outside: our blood pressure drops, our heart rate slows. Pain can be reduced and our immune systems are boosted and enhanced. Mentally we feel calmer, stress is reduced, we sleep better, things become clearer and we feel happier and more joyful. My feeling is that whilst it’s great to have these studies ‘prove’ this, we also know what supports us, we know what helps us feel better and happier. When we need space to perhaps grieve or to feel or to simply just be, we can simply go outside and allow Mother Nature to take hold of us and do what she’s so good at.
Natural precepts to live by (taken from The Nature Remedy page 7):
GO OUT IN NATURE EVERY DAY
This could be a walk in the park or the walk to work; it could just mean stepping outside your front door or opening your window to breathe. Simply allow yourself to ‘be’ in nature.
EVERY DAY BE MINDFUL IN NATURE
Switch on your senses, listen and look at your surroundings. Let everything else melt away and feel that relief – even if just for a moment.
EVERY DAY SAY THANK YOU TO NATURE
To have gratitude for something to which we are so deeply connected brings an appreciation for all life like no other.
HAVE FAITH IN NATURE AND MAKE NATURE A HABIT
by Faith Douglas