I wrote this in the summer, but it still applies!
Reconnecting with Mother Nature
I’m sitting on a lichen-covered rock, surrounded by Ponderosa pines, firs, and aspens, listening to the buzz of insects.
Mountain chickadees, flickers, and red-crowned kinglets call to each other. A Stellar’s Jay imitates the cry of a much bigger bird, a red-tailed hawk. “Why?” I ask my friend Cynthia, a wildlife biologist. “Why not?” she replies.
I’m camping for the first time in two years, near Red Feather Lakes, surrounded by mountains and blue sky. White billowy clouds are growing, but it won’t rain for a few more hours. We have time to read, write, and eat turkey sandwiches for lunch before breaking camp and going for a hike on this late July day.
No cell phone service is available here. We’re completely unplugged.
To watch constellations flickering in the night sky, smell pine baking in the sun, walk through an aspen grove, and observe a chipmunk flicking its tail before disappearing behind a tree – this is a meditation.
It’s also necessary. Being outside calms me. When I walk, hike or run, I’m paying attention to the terrain and weather. My senses feel sharper. I feel more alive.
I encourage everyone to connect with nature, every day, whether at a park in the middle of a city, a neighborhood pond, or your own backyard garden.
Do you sometimes feel restless, but don’t know why? Mother Nature is calling you.
Take a walk around your neighborhood. Pay attention to the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze, children playing at a park, the jangle of a dog’s leash.
Walk, breathe deeply, observe. And feel the tension leave your body.