Nature and I
A Forgotten Love Story
My wife and I have started going on these ‘Directionless Drives’, where we hop in the car and make decisions about where we are going on the fly. We start our journey on familiar roads, like the one I drive to work every day. You can drive a road every single day, forever, and you will still miss something along the way. So we have begun doing these semi-regularly, and it has really helped me become a happier, healthier person already. These directionless drives have reminded me just how important Nature, Curiosity, and Conversation is to my stability and well being.
The Silence Outweighs The Chaos
I work full time, we have 3 Children, I try to write as much as possible, I have therapy once a week, and the rest of the family has appointments scattered throughout. My Google Calendar looks like a hardware store helping you pick a paint color. Our lives are generally embedded in chaos. That chaos is not a bad thing, as it keeps me moving towards goals and productive. However, this chaotic scheduling made me unknowingly lose sight of calmness. Nature has reminded me the undeniable beauty found within stillness, and the healing power behind every second of silence.
One of our first directionless drives led us to a huge dirt road in an area I had never been to before. We stopped to explore the little slice of silence we had found. Just as we were walking and laughing, Amber stopped me and simply said,
We stood in place. Center of the road, staring at each other while birds sang above us, trees rustled on every side of us, and water flowed past where we could see. The sandy clay road under our feet didn’t exist in that moment. I was floating in a sea of tranquility, and I was reminded by Nature that it has never ending lessons to teach me. Lessons I had stopped listening to long ago.
Too Eager for 'The City'
I grew up in the Country. I had a stunningly beautiful beach 2 minutes away from my house, sprawling forests inviting exploration, and an abundance of wildlife around us. My elementary school had a nature trail behind it, with over 3kms of wildlife habitats, and serene, secluded areas. Nature was clearly such a big part of my early life.
Unfortunately, I spent most of my childhood looking ahead to adulthood. Counting the days to 18, moving to a ‘City’, going to college and being a success. I was so eager for that change, that everything around me lost meaning. Including the nature surrounding my life.
After over 4 years of this ‘city’ life I had looked forward to, it was clear that something was missing from me. This return to nature helped remind me that I do not need to be so busy. That it is okay to stop, and soak in the things around you. Because when you do, you realize that the world is MUCH bigger than the path you see in your everyday “blinders.”
Nature Put Me In Perspective
These sprawling forests, singing birds, and flowing waters… They all make up these ecosystems around us. Containers of living, breathing experiences, working together as puzzle pieces in our unfinished universe.
On that day, when Amber stopped me and put me in tune with the ecosystems around us, it instantly put my own being in perspective. I had spent so much time stressed out about dumb I.T. problems at work, or the next thing on my ‘To-Do’ list. I was stuck in this constant state of “Preparing for the next task”, yet all I needed was to stop and listen.
In those moments of silence, there was still so much life happening. Everywhere around us, things were living, breathing, moving, loving, and dreaming. I can get so caught up in succeeding, that I forget what it takes to simply live. Across these ecosystems, these organisms are succeeding BECAUSE they are living.