There was a radio program talking about our disconnect with nature. The guest was discussing his daily schedule- house, to car in garage, to garage at work, to high-rise, to lunch in office or attached restaurant, to car, to home, repeat. He said he would go for days without really getting fresh air. He was surrounded by artificial light, air funneled through tubes, and the closest he got to nature was looking at the trees through his car windows. He hadn’t touched the earth in a very long time. There really is no excuse for that. Even if you are house bound and your yard is covered in snow, there are ways to breath in fresh air, see sunlight or moonlight.
I had a friend in the hospital and no matter the weather, he wanted and needed to be wheeled outside. We would go to the garden and I would hand him some dirt and rocks. Jeff loved feeling the dirt in his palm, the coolness, the slight dampness. He would breath in and out slowly, getting as much unprocessed air into his body as he could. It didn’t matter if it was chilly, or a bit warm, Jeff just needed to be in the fresh, as he called it.
Humans are animals, and animals need clean air, water, and sunlight. We need to push ourselves to be out in nature so our bodies can rejuvenate and heal.
I have a friend who walks barefoot when she can in the grass. She says it grounds and settles her. Another stands in the cold sand at the beach as the icey water laps her feet.
While its great we have enclosed places to keep us safe and dry, those same places cut us off from ourselves and our basic needs. Standing out in the rain and wind is a very primal feeling. Sitting on a log and listening to the birds is like a mediation. Dropping leaves in a stream and following them reminds of the impermanence of life, yet the consistency of nature.
Go outside and breath, or at least stand in your window. If you are surrounded by snow, take the wondrous setting. Take a moment to be awed. If its hot, be amazed at the sun. If its raining, let the rain wash away your stress.
Be kind to nature and remember that we are all indeed part of the whole organism known as Planet Earth