The world around us is constantly spinning in one fluid motion. The motions are small, so we barely notice them, if at all. With these constant rotations from the earth, our bodies have become used to the idea of change. We, as humans, thrive off of these constant movements. They help to shape our everyday lives. These movements depict when we awake in the morning, when we grab lunch in the afternoon, and when we settle down for a cup of tea in the evening. The earth’s constant rotations fuels us to carry out our daily tasks. It also fuels us, for some of the biggest changes that we may face; the urge to escape.
Desire for something better has always been on the forefront of our minds since the beginning of time. The desire to get a promotion by the end of the year, the dream of a fancier house, or of a new car all take up so much space in our minds. These topics and ideas are always running through our brains even when we are relaxing; you dream about these kinds of things, don’t you? With all of these “mini pressures”, or desires, that you place on yourself, they begin to add up. What might seem like a small dream (to get a car) may become overwhelming once you figure out all that you have to do (save money, find a reliable car salesmen, etc.). Add on all your other desires and wishes, a new house, a higher test grade, a promotion at work, and it starts to take a toll on you. You start to become overwhelmed by your daunting “to do list” that just keeps getting longer and longer as the days go on. You often feel like you cannot, and will never be able to get all the things on your list done and accomplished, and more times than not, you just need to get away from it all. Escape becomes your only desire.
The idea of breaking away from it all overwhelms your senses. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, where are you expected to turn? Where are you to go, to break away from your daily tasks that make one day blend into the next? What are you to do in order to leave behind the rut you’ve found yourself sinking further and further into? How are you able to change what you’ve been used to so that you can truly be free? If you are like most, you might think of something small, like a trip to the store, or a day off so you can catch up on your television show that you’ve now missed for three consecutive weeks. Or you could think out of the box and change it up a little. With everything constantly moving in our lives, we often forget to stop and smell the roses.
We forget to stop and smell the roses that line sidewalks as we are too busy walking by them talking on the phone. We forget to look at the tree that offers us shade as we wait for the bus stop on our way to work. We forget to appreciate the world around us while we are trying to improve our lives. We are too busy to stop and realize that what we are searching for, the betterment in our lives, is actually staring us right in the face. All of the answers are found in nature, if we just open our eyes.
We only know the lives that we are living. We do not fully know the lives of those around us, and we do not know the lives of those we have not met. We often wonder what goes on in other places around the world, and how other people handle the stresses of everyday life. Despite these uncertainties, no matter where people are in the world, the answers found in nature are available to those who go looking. Nature has a way to connect us to the outside world, in ways we never expected.
All across the globe children, adults, and the elderly look to nature to help them every day. Many turn to nature to help solve problems that may flourish in their lives. Problems such as health complications, stress and anxiety, depression and pain have been cured and/or lessened due to things found in nature. Taking a walk along a river can help to clear one’s mind, no matter where they are in the world, as well as burning herbs as a form of natural medicines. These things help to improve one’s self. They are able to not only be more in sync with what their bodies are feeling, but with what nature is feeling too.
I dare you to experience nature and see if you can discover your true self. Chances are, the person you are at the start of your nature adventure will be different than the person that you are at the end. It’s funny how the simple things in nature can change a human being, how it can make one feel as if they are a part of something that is bigger than they are. When you walk with nature, you are walking with all the creatures around you. You start to become one solid working unit, instead of many different parts. Each part, made up from various plants, animals, and people, tend to work independently, but when you throw them all together in nature, they work cohesively.
The way that the birds depend on worms, how bees rely on pollen, and how fish rely on water is how we depend on nature. We depend on nature because of its wiliness, no matter what time it is, and no matter where we come from, to take us so someplace that we could never imagine. Our true place. In nature, we are surrounded by life that has flourished under the great sun, and has thrived without death and destruction, without pain and suffering, and without judgment of origin. It is all natural and accepting. Our minds float to a clean, untouched place when it is trying to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nature holds the key that opens the door to such a place. This key is only accessible to those minds who are willing to take a break and follow down a path of self-discovery.
We may think that we know exactly who we are, what we stand for, and what we want to do in life, but in reality, we aren’t completely in sync with the world around us. Take a walk in the woods, kayak down a calm river, and hike up a rocky mountain. These are things that will create coherence between yourself and the world around you. The more time that one spends outside, breathing in the fresh ocean breeze, or sitting in the shade of an old oak tree, leads one to appreciate the finer things in life. These finer things don’t come from getting a promotion, or buying a new car, but from life itself.
Take away all the fog from daily desires, and all that’s left are clear blue skies. Skies that shine bright because you have filled them with what your heart truly thrives for; life. You have connected with the world around you in a way that made the stress and anxiety of everyday activities vanish into thin air. You were able to escape any hardships that you faced every morning when you woke up by opening your eyes and appreciating the life that surrounds you. The motion of the earth is always pushing us forward, and when we feel like we need to escape, pull back and find something to hold on to for support. I can guarantee nature will always be there to keep us grounded.
Gillian McRitchie especially enjoys hikes that ultimately lead to waterfalls. “I am able to let my mind wander while being able to let go of any stresses that I might be carrying with me. Lately, I’ve taken a liking to kayaking. I feel like I can truly be myself when I am around water, whether it be a waterfall or a river.”