When I was a young girl living in a quiet town in Quebec, I used to spend my days alone in the woods near my house. I found that in the forest I could be truly myself and was fascinated with all aspects of nature, whether it was observing animals pass me by or studying beautiful flowers growing amidst the mossy earth. Sometimes I would bring my young brother along and we would spend hours playing games in the forest, games that involved a lot of imagination and creation. It was the forest that made me the woman I am today: centered, peaceful, loving, joyful, and solitary.
In the loving arms of nature so much healing happens. In our stressed-out, cell phone-obsessed, workaholic, rat race world we often forget our true roots. We do not come from brick buildings and computers and long work hours; we come of the earth and that is where we shall return when the rat race is finally over. Why not start the return earlier than later?
Nature heals all wounds. You often hear the phrase, “Time heals all wounds” but I believe nature heals all wounds. In her gentle loving arms of non-judgment and non-chaos, we find ourselves in a bubble of peace again. As we walk in the silence of a forest, we can let go of some of our negative emotions that we carry around endlessly. Give yourself this free medicine as much as possible, and see what happens to your physical or emotional illnesses. Some friends of mine who suffer from depression confirm that in nature, they soon forget their sadness and recall some of the reasons they are alive and why they want to continue being alive.
Nature is a great friend. As a child, sometimes I found that humans were terrible friends. They could lie or hurt me or use me, and it was a difficult realization that humans were not always good and loving to one another. So I became best friends with Mother Nature. She always listened to me, and if I could tune out my busy beehive brain, I could even sometimes hear her answer me. Her answers were never words, just feelings washing over me like cool waves in the ocean or a strong gust of wind in the mountains. Her answers were wordless but filled with comfort and gentleness.
Nature quiets the mind. When the world gets to be too much to handle, when the bills pile up endlessly or people have disappointed me, I go to nature to quiet my mind and take deep breaths. As I walk up the mountain trails, I breathe in the fresh air and find my mind gets quieter and quieter with each step. I call this “walking meditation”. I find this to be the best form of meditation for me. Instead of putting on a CD or closing my eyes and sitting still, my walking meditation keeps my feet busy, my heart pumping, and my brain as quiet as a mouse. If you find your brain is always chattering, try this walking meditation and see how you feel afterwards.
Nature loves us unconditionally. Take the time to walk in her fields, her mountains, swim in her oceans, and return some of that love in your way. Some people hug trees as a thank you, others leave tobacco near a sacred spot. Every time I leave Mother Nature behind to return to reality, I ask her to follow me home and surround me with her love and light, no matter where I am.