I’ve always loved being in nature. As a young child growing up in South Florida, I loved going to the beach and being by the ocean. In the winter months, I enjoyed our trips further out west and going out to the Everglades. As a teen, my family moved to the Caribbean and I would often traipse through the lush green jungle-like vegetation in the mountains…just me and my teenage angst. It calmed me and helped to add balance. On the weekends, I would bathe in the clear turquoise waters and play Frisbee on the soft sands with my friends.
Now in my 50's, I often go to local parks throughout Central Florida. Wooded and lush, my dog and I walk through the muck, he getting his paws dirty and me needing to wash my sneakers when I get home. What I love most about our excursions is the sounds… as a child I didn’t pay much attention to the sounds of nature, I was more enthralled with the visual. Last night, while we were at Mead Gardens, there was a symphony of birds chirping and singing. High pitched tweets, low cackling and sounds that are reminiscent of hitting a high hat on a drum set. It was amazing to hear the different birds, each with their unique song and together it was like being in the front row of an orchestra warming up for the night’s performance. Truly a grand experience.
Over the years there have been many studies showing that being in nature is good for our health and sense of well-being. However, I think most of us know intuitively how nature impacts us… that babbling brook, the sway of tree leaves in a gentle breeze, the smell of salty air… all are things that can relax our minds and bodies.
So, if you are feeling stress, or you need a break, or you just want to wander and explore, take a trip to the woods, the beach, a lake, a park, a field, a marsh or some other place where you can experience nature. You will thank yourself for the experience!