Getting Out Into Nature

Humans just like every other species have evolved with nature. The last one hundred years has seen incredible advances in technologies, and has seen rapid growth in human population. This has lead to densely populated cities with very little opportunities for some people to interact with nature. We have an innate need for nature, even if we don’t know we do because some of us have never really experienced it. A lot of us tend to get stressed out from our day to day lives. I know I do, and getting out into nature helps me reset. For me, getting into nature makes me realize how insignificant most of our everyday problems really are. Don’t get me wrong, there are real problems to deal with, like making enough money to pay our bills and put food on the table. But I’m talking about the “keeping up with the Jones” problems of having to keep up with image, having the lastest home decor or fashion, or the latest smart phone, tv or new vehicle. Non of that matters in the grand scheme of things. We take our world for granted, we assume there will always be food in the grocery store, there will always be clean water readily available, and if something happens we expect someone to be there to take care of us. We cannot survive without nature because it provides us with the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe, and that is way more important than the latest new car or fashion.

In Japan, they call it forest bathing, but for me, it is just getting out into nature. It is connecting with nature by using our senses. It is listening to the birds, trees moving in the wind, running water, or whatever other sounds there are. It is touching the plants and the ground and feeling their presence. What smells can you smell, the flowers, an intact forest smells amazing (you are actually breathing in plant chemicals (phytochemicals). Look around and see the different greens and browns, the different textures, and the movement of plants, water, and animals. I don’t recommend tasting unless you are really familiar with the different plants and which ones are edible (some are poisonous). I bet you will become happy just by being in nature. There are studies proving that nature is good for our health. Kids need nature for their wellbeing.

Be respectful, every step you take you are walking on life. Stay on the trails in natural areas, and hopefully there are natural play areas for kids where you live. Do not dig up plants because generally they don’t survive the move. We can help nature by buying native plants to your area and planting them to create little bits of habitat in our urban spaces. We also desperately need more native flowering plants and pollinator friendly plants for our pollinating insects survival. We can thank the pollinating insects for at least 1/3 of the foods we eat, and if we had to do the pollinating it would cost us billions!

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