Is it Nature who nurtures?
I recently spent a few days visiting my mother at her home in the middle of the deepest countryside. Although I arrived feeling stressed by the pressures of city life and extremely unwell with the effects of a severe chest infection, as the days passed I began to feel the tension and dis-ease tangibly drop away and although by the time I left I wasn’t completely physically cured, I did feel quenched and renewed, both mentally and spiritually, fit again to tackle the demands of city life again.
A recent survey revealed that 90% of the people interviewed cited the sound of birdsong as one of the things that made them most happy.
Another study in a national paper showed that people in hospitals appear to recover more quickly from operations if they have a view of nature or greenery.
A well known naturalist Richard Mabey cured his bout of severe depression after he immersed himself in nature and then wrote a book ‘Nature Cure’ about the experience
After Eckhart Tolle had his epiphany he spent an entire year just sitting on a park bench living in the midst of nature, he says that during that time he felt absolutely no need to do anything else in life.
When Byron Katie first became enlightened she spent most of her days just walking in the Nevada desert.
Buddha came to a state of full enlightenment after he left his city and spent a prolonged period of time in nature, eventually he stopped and just sat under a Bhodhi tree until he experienced Nirvana.
Many people take up the so called sport of fishing, not because I believe they are particularly ativistic or sadistic people but because it is one of the few occasions that they (men in particular) have ‘permission’ to simply sit and rest in nature for hours at a time.
Whenever he needed a blast of creative inspiration Keats took himself for long walks in Hampstead Heath. His fellow poet William Wordsworth was also inspired to write many of his poems, after walking the hills of his beloved Lake District.
Nature is a powerful resource to heal uplift and inspire, we often ignore nature’s gift but those of us who are lucky enough to have regular access to it have the benefit of a great healing opportunity, many inner city children spend their entire childhoods entirely captured and contained by the ‘concrete jungle’ around them, never visiting the countryside, or having any connection with the natural world. The consequences of this are all too often reported in the daily papers. If our government wanted to give a gift to the nation’s children, give each one of them an adequate opportunity to spend some time in the healing embrace of beauty and nature it should be as much part of children’s lives as the school curriculum.