Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
You know that feeling you get, when you step away from the street into the forest. When the gentle trees, the soft singing of the birds and the smiling flowers invite you into their peaceful dwelling.
When you step out onto a beach, and look across the ocean, and the waves seem to be pulling you into the swell. Their rhythm like music soothing your soul when you just stop and listen.
Have you ever noticed that there is not simply a message of “welcome”, but a message of “welcome home”.
Although we are a highly adaptable species, we are not built to thrive in cemented jungles. Of course, it may be necessary to live and work in built-up areas, but it is very important that we take the time out of our daily lives to get back into nature.
It can be easy to forget, in a world of technology and convenience that we are animals, made from the same stuff as the stars, the oceans, and the planets. Human well-being depends on the benefits that nature provides every day, for free. Ecotherapy, is the name given for the benefits of being in nature and includes both mental and physical health. A study in 2009 concluded that those who lived closest to a park, the beach, or a wooded area were less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
Being outside in nature gives us a dose of much needed Vitamin D, and those who take a short walk along the beach, or those who simply rest in the forest, see measurably lower cortisol rates, heart rates, and blood pressure. Health benefits aside, there is a sense of returning when we get into nature, and it is that feeling of connectedness that we so often lack in our town and cities. Nature is abundant and free, and it’s all yours.
Take time, and bathe yourself in nature; it’s one of life’s true gifts.