Being out in nature is an integral part of my happy, healthy life I have created for myself; this is not a statement I make lightly. I have spent plenty of days, even months hidden away in my home not to see the light of day past my window in weeks, even simply going to get the mail was not a task I once could face. What is odd though is that the happiest moments (other then the birth of my daughter) took place in the open nature; that cottage trip and walks through Algonquin park that I wrote of, my daughter first learning to walk while in the grass in a field, going on a day trip to Port Stanley or Grand Ben with my friends, all the greatest memories take place outside.
What I have learned is that for me, getting into nature makes all the difference in my mood. I’ve had a tough last week with appointments, lack of sleep, stressful messages and a daughter that has a tooth cutting through so when my mother took my daughter out for a quick ride to the grocery store I took the chance to just simply sit on my front stoop and read outside. I felt refreshed, even had a surge of creativity and took quite a few photos around my house. I’ve learned over the years that it can be hard to get outside when I’m struggling and simply stepping outside on a beautiful day (or even rainy day) can change my mood entirely.
My mother offered to drive us to a nature trail and park this past weekend and I jumped at the chance. Lily fell asleep on the car ride over and we pulled out our walking stroller and went on our way, she actually had quite a long nap while we were on the trail. I was so inspired by all the natural beauty, flowers, weeping willow tree’s, and river. I spent most of the time of the walk taking photo after photo. I was mesmerized by the sound of the water rapids and the way the flowers danced in the wind. But most of all I was moved in a way that I can not explain when I came across a tree with flowers surrounding it that was hidden behind the trees. I made my way around tree after tree after seeing the flowers from the walkway and came into a clearing with this tree, I stood there awestruck for a moment. This tree was the most gorgeous thing I have ever laid eyes on in nature. During our two hour walk we came across natural rhubarb, with all of the culinary studying I have been up to the past few months I was able to notice the leaves after I stopped to take a photograph; my mother loves rhubarb and eats it raw with a sprinkle of sugar so I got on my hands in knees and pulled out a couple of stalks. Have you ever picked natural produce? it is the most exhilarating feeling, taking your food straight from the earth.
We spent well over two hours on the trail, half way through our walk Lily woke up and enjoyed the flowers I picked for her, and said hello to every dog that passed by. Near the end we let Lily out of her stroller to play around and then ended with a trip to the nearby playground.
I hope everyone of you take advantage of the beautiful weather ahead, may that simply be switching your run from the treadmill to the streets, sitting outside while enjoying a book or going out and taking your own nature photographs, unplug your phones, and plug into nature.