If you’re anything like me—an Earth child—being out in nature brings us so much joy.
When I was younger, I would head into our backyard and talk to the birds. I thought they could understand me. I would spend hours out there chatting to my visitors. Talking to the birds hasn’t changed, thankfully, and nature continues to captivate me.
As we get older, we lose the curiosity we had as a child. Stepping out into nature brings back that awe and wonder. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but it can teach us many valuable life lessons.
Have you ever hugged a tree? If not, I recommend you do it—no one has to know. I hugged a tree for the first time last year. I went hiking on my own and there was no one around. A huge tree was close by and I had the urge to put my arms around it. When I did, it made me smile. I felt the life of the tree. I felt connected.
It is important to have connection in our lives, not only to people, but to the world around us. We were not put on this Earth to walk or feel alone. Whenever you feel disconnected or alone, take a walk through the park, dive into the ocean or smell a flower. I guarantee you, it will help you feel connected once again.
The palm trees in my courtyard fascinate me. We’ve have had some nasty storms lately, and I’ve watched them getting blown about by the wind. In spite of this, they dig their roots in deep and stand tall despite the gusts. Once the storm is over, the trees are still there, standing firmly in place.
We all have that strength inside us. Sometimes we feel like we might be carried away by the storm, but when we dig our heels into the ground, we can overcome anything. The strongest trees can handle the roughest storms, and so can we.
Eckhart Tolle authored The Power of Now, a book that explains how much power there is in being in the now—the present moment. If we could all just stop and be present once in a while, our minds would feel less scrambled.
We all lead busy lives and have many thoughts going through our heads every day. Getting into nature helps us become more present, and it is in the present moment that we become at peace with ourselves and the world.
Growth and Transformation
Have you ever wondered why snakes shed their skin? Growth.
They remove their skin when parasites become attached to it. To grow, they have to remove anything that no longer serves them. This is a powerful lesson. As human beings, we tend to hold onto things and people way past their expiration dates, only to discover that not only are we stopping our own growth, we are keeping an old layer that no longer fits us.
Caterpillars spend months in darkness inside a tiny cocoon, taking time to grow and shed their skin before they can emerge as butterflies. We can blossom into who we really are too, but we likewise need to go through a series of transformations.
Being quite an impatient person, I expect to see results quickly. However, you can’t plant a seed and expect to find a tree the next day. Everything takes time to form and grow. The more patient we are, the more we allow our lives to come to fruition.
Nature teaches us that by being patient, we allow things to evolve naturally, as they are meant to—without any control or attachment. The more we cling to something, the more we push it away.
Nature reminds us how good it feels to be alive, and that the simplest things can make us happy. It provides the oxygen in the air we breathe, water to quench our thirst, and mountains to satisfy our adventurous spirit.
After a flood, we are grateful for the sunshine; after a drought, we are grateful for the rain; when planting a seed, we are grateful for the first bud. The more we show gratitude, the more life gives us to be grateful for.
“Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein
So, the next time you head out into nature, take a look around and see the world with childlike eyes. Notice the lessons and connect with the earth. Who knows—maybe one day, you’ll even hug a tree.
Author: Naomi Wengier
Image: Author’s Own; Tarreck Raffoul
Editor: Catherine Monkman