I love nature. Of late I have been thinking a lot about our human relationship to nature. Here are some thoughts on the forest.
The snow bells are peeking out and bright yellow daffodils have started shaping among their long-fingered leaves. The trees have begun their transmutation to green. I love this time of year! I love being met by new shoots and more colours with every passing day. Watching life's progression throughout the year is awe-inspiring!
It also makes me feel incredibly small. The whole intricately interconnected tapestry of life is beyond anything that we can grasp with our conscious minds. It cannot be rationalised. The burgeoning life, the excited trills from the birds singing in the spring... it is so much bigger than us all. And that complexity is scary when we think about what we human beings are doing to our habitat (but I am not going to go into this today).
Taking a walk in the forest will lift my spirits within moments. As soon as the last house is behind me and the only reminder of humanity and our society is the footpath that I tread, my heart soars and I feel happiness begin to bubble within me. They say that walking in nature helps to reduce stress, improves mental and physical health (beyond the benefits of physical exercise) and it makes us happy. I can definitely attest to that. I constantly smile to myself when I notice a spring in my step as I jauntily stroll through the forest, as opposed to my more common trudging.
I love how I notice things more when I'm out in the woods. We have a tendency to shut off and shut out with our earphones. When I'm walking with my children I find myself observing things: how the moss grows over rocks and trees, how bark feels, where to find the best toadstools to look at (because that is what interests a three-year-old), which birds sing at what time of year, how the light filters through to the ground in summer while streaming and reflecting dazzling sparkles on a clear, snowy day. Since the forest is ever-changing it inspires me to observe more closely.
To me, our life-giving world is blessed with magic and all I would like to do is foster respect and love for it in my children and do everything in my power not to hinder its growth and development. I want this forest to still be around for my grandchildren and their children. I want them to experience this appreciation for the life that we share with the natural world.
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