Walking in Nature, a Restorative Experience
Updated: Apr 28, 2019
Today I write about a personal restorative experience-walking in local natural open areas, primarily nature preserves. I have made it a practice to walk on a regular basis since I left my house many years ago in a stressful state, needing to leave the pressures of caring for small children as a single parent while working outside the home with very little support. I was in a less than satisfying relationship at the time, which added to the stress; I walked out on my boyfriend and children for a short while in order to get away and blow off some steam! I was amazed at how refreshed I felt after my walk around the block, accessing more positivity and energy again. I have been walking ever since to dissipate emotional tension, exercise and renew mentally as well as spiritually.
This morning I set out to walk in one of my favorite nature preserves, feeling angry because of chronic personal and professional frustrations, the seeming precarious political climate of our country, especially upset by the buzzing of hand saws, pruning trees in the residential complex too early in the morning!! I was so grateful for the sunshine and cool, crisp air, signaling the beginning of autumn as I started off on the path in a forested area which opens up into a big, beautiful open field. I love open spaces covered with grass, wild flowers and trees; my body relaxed and I sighed, smiling like a Cheshire cat. My journey was especially blessed by the absence of any other person on the trail, giving me the feeling this glorious setting was my own personal, private sanctuary; there were also no outside noises such as emergency vehicles, cars, or airplanes, which have poisoned the air waves in the past. The quiet allowed me to "be still and know. . . God."
My only companion was the wind which created a symphony of sounds whistling through the trees, becoming softer and louder with the change in velocity. Birds and insects added to the chorus with their chirping. The grass glistened beneath my feet, looking like diamonds as the sun reflected off the remaining dew. As I touched the tall grasses bowing with the wind, I could feel a sense of peace and excitement all at the same time. As I headed back to the entrance, I felt so cleansed and restored to a state of extreme vitality, joy and hope, so grateful that I have become aware of such a restorative experience, which I now make sure I fit into my schedule. It is so important to take time out from our responsibilities, from the pressures of our lives by feeding our minds and souls as well as our bodies. Connecting with nature while engaging in some physical activity offers so much nourishment for our bodies, hearts, minds and souls - a wonderfully restorative experience, which allows us to continue our lives in the most loving, alert, energetic and creative way!!