Connecting to Nature
A few weeks ago I got a call from my oldest daughter's school. As with most phone calls from school, the reason for calling was not so favorable. They gave me some news that she had not acted very kindly in an instance where she felt frustrated with one of her classmates. Of course I was unhappy to hear this and headed for the school to pick her up. Our pit was in need of a walk so I decided to bring her and that we could hike and talk about it. Before we had left school grounds she was talked to about the incident by three adults including me, who were not happy with her actions. She seemed nonchalant about her outburst, but as soon as we got to the car she really broke down about the situation. Full on tears and wailing. I wasn't quite sure why she was the one crying until I heard her pain and frustration as we talked through the events of the day.
My younger daughter is very empathetic towards my older daughter's feelings when she can tell that she is upset (and not the cause of it, lol). So all this talk and tears was making my younger daughter upset and winy. I told both of them to take some deep breaths before we stepped out of the car, to leave their troubles behind in the vehicle, and to just focus on enjoying the hike.
We were not even walking for five minutes in the redwood grove of Joaquin Miller Park when both of them stopped wining and started perking up. Before I knew it, both of them were running through the trees with the dog, laughing, and noticing the different trees we walked though. That's when I realized it- *nature is the key to all healing! It really is. Connecting ourselves with nature works as a natural anti-stress remedy. All the troubles of the world seem to melt away even for a little bit once you start getting deep into nature. The towering redwoods, the fresh air, the chance to be wild and free- all are healing.
Its not the first time I have noticed this. The beach, hiking, any time spent in nature gives a calming effect on my children. If we want to heal ourselves all we must do is look towards Mother Earth she provided us with everything that we need.
This happened again this week. My oldest had gotten a cold and had to miss a day of school. She was feeling sort of sluggish the whole day. In the evening as the sun was setting I encouraged her to take a hike with me. We walked in the dusk, witnessed the sun set over the city, took some deep breaths, and listened out for crickets. On the walk back to the car Satya told me that she really enjoyed the walk, that the sunset was pretty, and that she was feeling calm and much better. She also told me it was the best day she ever had- wow a sick day at home turned into a best day all because of Mother Nature.
I deeply value connecting my children with nature while cultivating a love and appreciation for it. If we raise children in nature, hopefully they will connected to their environment and want to take care of it. With the earth in such turmoil, it could use our healing too! Just as much as we need the earth, the earth needs us right back to be kind and gentle. My hope is that if I raise these kids in nature that they will be kind and compassionate to the earth as they get older and inherit it.