The Restorative Power of Nature

I don’t get enough exercise. I know this about myself. Some days, I am totally OK with that. Other days, I really feel like I would like to exercise more. Usually, the other things on my to do list take priority.

Yesterday, though, it was a beautiful, clear, sunny day, and I decided that before I fell into the black hole of time and tasks that appears whenever I turn my computer on, I would go for a walk.

Meditation and ReflectionI am blessed to live in a very beautiful part of the world – Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. I also live in a semi-rural area, not far from a wooded area. There is a wide path through the woods, crossed by several streams. As beautiful as it is, in my busy life I don’t get there nearly often enough.

Yesterday it was calling me. Though I started out on my walk to get some exercise, that didn’t end up being the main focus of my walk.

I got as far as the first creek crossing. I stopped and stood on the fallen logs that form the “bridge”, and listened to the sound of the water flowing over the stones and fallen branches. That sound has always soothed and refreshed me.

My balance on the log shifted, and I waved my arms to stay upright. I heard a splash behind me, and turned in time to see the bright red flash of a salmon dart around another log to hide. I tried to catch another glimpse of it, to no avail.

As I turned to move on, a couple of people coming from the other direction said they had seen a black bear near the big puddles. I thanked them, and decided to carry on anyway. If I was meant to see a bear, I would.

I took my time walking now. I was absorbing the energy of the place, soaking up the sun and the smell of the decaying leaves and the gentle breeze and the greenery and the water and the songs of the small birds. Just being out in the woods was energizing me.

I came to the first big puddle in the path. The water was still and clear – I could see the leaves and rocks on the bottom and the reflection of the trees and the sky. I stood staring at it for quite some time. It was a form of meditation, like looking in a mirror, though I was not reflected in the water at all.

I am a reflection of all the events and circumstances in my life, and the events and circumstances are a reflection of what is going on inside me. I am not the reflection, though. There is so much more going on under the surface. It’s important to be aware of both the reflection and what is going on underneath.

I kept my keys jingling for the rest of the walk, so I wouldn’t startle any bears. I didn’t see any bears, but I did see a beautiful young stag.

As much as I would like to say I’m going to do that more often, I know better than to make promises I’m not likely to keep. However, it is there whenever I need a recharge.

What are some of your favorite experiences being out in nature?



3 Responses

  1. Funny thing is this morning, i went out onto my patio, to clean the “fall” debri away. i was reminded of a story of a friend who made a promise to the fae, that he would come to a specific spot and keep it clean from man made garbage, and one day, he woke up with a sock in his toilet, and he had no pets, or any roomates. well i took have taken the time to create a potted garden oasis for the good fae outside on my patio, and i made a promise to them to keep the space clean and looked after. well the last week i have had some health issues, and i will admit i have slacked on keeping the spaced sacred as i said i would. and 3 times i found the carpet rug thrown over in dismay, like something had done it. now its took heavy when soaked in rain for the wind to do so, and a stray cat would not be able to do it, and i would put it back, to find it the same the next day. so this morning when i found it the fourth time, and a plant and ornament thrown on my patio, i was like ok, time to go outside and clean up. i really didnt want to, as i had woken with a headache, and hadnt eaten breakfast yet, however i reconized the fact i needed to clean up the space and keep my promise to the fae, i didnt want a sock in my toilet so to speak. and while i was cleaning away, it was drizzling a light rain, i could see my breathe just a little bit, and i felt the change in the season, and i welcomed it. i think now the cleaning fairy will come into my home, and motivate me to take down my fall decor, and put up my yule decorations, and do well at my studies too. its funny how just a little bit of nature, even on your patio can clear your head and see things clearly and put things into perspective.

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