“You should sit in nature 20 minutes a day... unless you are busy, then you should sit for an hour.” Old Zen meditation.
Nature is our life source. This is nothing new, yet somehow we have forgotten this in the past decades. We have focused on the life within us instead of the life around us. We have created a #naturephobic generation that nature is something to ‘look at’ not something to ‘be a part of’. We have ‘created’ fads such as #forestbathing and #natureplay to immerse children and adults alike in nature but these are not revolutionary concepts as they perceive to be. He ‘new’ research is just restating the age old knowledge for the enjoyment of our lives and the health of our existence must be found within and among nature.
As #MeadeMitchellPLA discusses in a Land 8 article, "...taking a group of kids down a boardwalk, single file, and letting them read a sign or observe a bird off in the distance does not celebrate nature. Letting them get in the water, dig in the mud, throw rocks, build a shelter out of sticks, and other types of spontaneous play are sensory experiences that allow them to feel a part of their environment.”
Nature should not be viewed as a postcard but rather be absorbed, challenged, respected, and transformed by us and around us. This is difficult in our society today as we have pushed nature out of our homes, neighborhoods, schools, and communities. We have created the ‘sterilized’ and ‘safe’ versions of nature for security and ease of ‘maintenance’. So where have we put nature?
As we have noted in the news, our #NationalParks are seeing record numbers of visitors as people travel distances in search of ‘nature’. While this is a wonderful experience, we must remember that they are delicate ecosystems and should be respected. But these spaces that our instincts still crave for and those interactions our health and well-being depend on them can be found everywhere. Though, we have pushed nature out of our neighborhoods we shouldn’t have to travel to some ‘natural’ persevered space to #experiencenature. We should create and encourage these spaces in our communities, neighborhoods, and backyards. Create unique spaces to relax, play, and create among nature.
Let our children #diginthedirt and explore what the world has to offer so we can all benefit from their wisdom. Travel to your backyard and in your neighborhood this spring to 'find' nature and play!