Do you ever glimpse those wild places along the roadside? On the edges of a park or springing up between the cracks in the sidewalk? Unbridled nature, weeds and insects, scruffy trees, towering branches, spots of red and gold flowers? Yeah, those places. As I'm writing this, it's spring verging on summer, and nature has come alive. The air is ripe with buzzing insects and the scent of chlorophyll. The world has gone wild.
It's during these times that I feel a yearning to dive into the wild and go exploring. When I see a copse of trees along the margins, I am drawn to it. I long to leave behind the concrete and the glass and dive into the chaos of nature. I want to ramble through the brambles and bracken. I want to hide from society and find solace in solitude.
My husband thinks my desire to lose myself in nature is crazy. He hates bugs and the outdoors. In turn, I don't understand why he won't sit on the grass and never wants to eat dinner in the back yard.
The truth is that researchers have studied the effects of nature on the human body, and here's what they have found--
Being in nature...
Though we live in an artificial environment, we are creatures of nature. We were built by nature. Even the Bible says that God made Adam from clay. Our origin is the soil itself. We need nature much more than nature needs us. So please make room in your life for nature. Love the trees, love the soil, love nature, love the wild.
Read more about the health benefits of nature.
How do you interact with nature? Leave a response below, and thanks for reading!
For my composition students' first paper, they wrote an essay based on a quote. Below is one of the quotes they were allowed to choose to write their paper on as well as my own meditation on the quote's meaning.
What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Several years ago, I took a cruise with my parents to Alaska; the wonderful thing about cruising to Alaska is that you get to see those narrow crannies that you would otherwise fly over in an airplane. We traveled up the inlets that lie between the mainland and elongated islands that trace the coast all the way to Alaska. I remember seeing a waterfall crashing down from a cliff in the far-off distance. It seemed tiny, no bigger than the width of my thumb. But as I watched, a giant yacht sailed to the foot of it, and the waterfall was the same width as the boat. In actuality, the waterfall was massive; it was my own eyes that were tiny.
We take in the world through our five senses, but everything we sense is only an interpretation of the reality outside of us. Everything that we believe occurs in the outside world, the things we drink with our eyes, taste with our noses, sense with our skin, swallow with our ears, and explore with our taste buds--these things exist in our imagination. Our brains construct the world around us.
Scientists say it takes one second for the glow of the moon to reach us, eight minutes for light from the sun, thirty-five minutes for Jupiter's reflection, and nine years for the glow from Sirius, also called the dog star. So essentially, all the light from space is in the past. If a star exploded somewhere far, far away, we might not be aware of it for centuries.
In the same way, the world we interpret is a historical artifact. Sure, we sense things on Earth much more quickly than those far-away worlds we get mere glimpses of, but still, everything we sense takes time to move from our sensory organs to our brains. Even then, it takes milliseconds for our brains to receive and process information.
I know that what the quote this post began with is one of inspiration--that we can overcome adversity with our willpower, that we are greater than our past or present, but I think it's an intriguing exercise to twist ideas and see what trickles out.
The world outside of us is majestic in its complexity, and so are we.
The green alien lay fat and indolent against the vine, its body taut yet silky looking. I approached it with my puny wooden weapon and poked it gingerly. Suddenly the creature raised its upper body and looked at me with its beady eyes. It rammed its body against my stick, and I jerked back in surprise. It was attacking!
I came across it by chance. I was looking over my vegetable plants in my pot garden. Er, the plants are in pots; I'm not growing marijuana. As I inspected one of the tomato plants I saw a light green lump against the stem. It was a beautiful color and so closely matched the tone of the plant itself that it would have been easy to overlook. As I looked closer, I realized it was a caterpillar--a particularly well fed one at that. Hanging above it was a half eaten green tomato that had originally been the size of a gumball.
I almost walked away. I like nature, and I think its creatures have the right to survive. But I didn't want to sacrifice all the hard work I put into those tomato plants to a bunch of chubby freeloaders either, no matter how lovely they looked, so I decided to do something about it. At first I thought I would just pry it off with my fingers, but I didn't really want to touch it. I didn't like the idea of feeling its puffy, squishy body in my hands.
I looked around for something to pick it up and saw a chunk of wood. I thought it would just be a matter of loosening the caterpillar and that it would curl around the stick so that I could carry it away. Was I surprised when the thing attacked me! I'm glad I didn't use my finger. I might have lost it. Okay, so I suppose it's unlikely a caterpillar would bite my finger off, but still!
As soon as I poked it with the wood shrapnel, the thing immediately butted its head against it. It looked truly fierce as it raised its upper body and lunged at me, its nubby legs flailing (well, maybe they weren't flailing; they were just kind of standing there being nubby). It took quite a bit of nudging to get that caterpillar off the stem, too, but finally, I pried its lower legs off and managed to scoop it up and carry it away.
I was singularly impressed by that little caterpillar, and even though the darn thing chewed up one of my baby tomatoes, I have to say, I admire its courage.
Word and Book Lover.