The golden dew sparkles on the early morning field. It is moist to her fingertips as she lightly runs her hands across the tall grass. Her pants become damp as she wades through the knee-deep waves of green. Thirsty butterflies flutter about sucking the nectar from interspersed flowers and dew from the tall grass.
She inhales the cool morning air. She closes her eyes as peace envelopes her being and the sun warms her upturned face. Nature is medicine and health and calm. Reconnecting with nature after a long, stressful week is just what the doctor ordered.
Benefits of Nature
Oftentimes, we venture out into the wild seeking an escape, seeking beauty, seeking life. We look to nature for the things she can provide us. Most humans have a natural affiliation for nature, gravitating towards views and images of the natural world. Nature’s healing powers have the ability to reduce depression and foster psychological well-being. It can even lead to closer relationships and stronger community bonds.
Almost all of us have been awestruck by the overwhelming beauty of a wild landscape at some point in our lives. Being outdoors and engaging with the environment has the ability to energize and revitalize us. Natural sunlight gives the body a nice dose of Vitamin D, but it can also help set our body’s internal clock allowing us to get a better night’s sleep. One of the biggest benefits of exploring outdoors is stepping away from technology. Unplugging while outdoors gives you a clearer, more focused mindset. It allows you to slow down and relax.
Conservation Through Appreciation
Taking advantage of opportunities to connect with nature instills a more strident need to protect our environment and the biodiversity within. Exploring the world around us and seeking out natural spaces can nurture an appreciation for these wild places.
There are many ways to engage with the outdoors, whether it is taking a walk in the park, building a bird feeder for the backyard, planning a family picnic in a nearby field, or going for a hike in a wilderness area. According to the chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, Peter Kareiva, “In the end, the fate of biodiversity and ecosystems depends on political choices and individual choices…”
How can we appreciate all we have to lose if we don’t know what we truly have to lose? Everyone benefits from investing in nature. It is essential to us all. It is easy to think we rely on technology for safe drinking water and clean air, but a healthy environment is just as responsible if not more so. Wetlands and forest store and filter over half of the United States’ water supply. Wetlands also protect against flooding. Soil health is vital for plants and food.
Next time you are taking a walk on the wild side. Let the splendor of the natural world overtake your senses for a moment. Feel the pulse of the earth beneath your feet. Wild places are living and breathing things that need our protection.
Narrator: This blog was thoughtfully written by Amy Gravlee. You can find her on Instagram @amygrvl.