Some days are bad days and we can’t help it. From the moment we wake up things start to go off. We can’t find the belt, coffee machine stops working, there’s a bad smell coming from somewhere, a friend messages they can’t make it tonight, and the list usually goes on.
Let’s not even talk about the psychological and emotional burdens we each carry, consciously or subconsciously, day in and day out.
When bad things, situations, or feelings accumulate, however, we need a vent to release the negative energies surrounding us.
Recently I was feeling off, uncentered, unfocused, and anxious. I just couldn’t pull my thoughts together. And I decided to do something about it. I decided to go for a walk. Alone. On the Beechwood Trail in my neighbourhood.
Let me tell you, I so needed it. There was hardly anyone on the trail. A dog walker here and there and an occasional bike rider. It was mostly birds who kept me company.
There are many directions you can go and explore from this trail and usually end up in another part of the city. Every time it’s a different experience. That’s what I love the most about trails.
And capturing photos like this…
… that are literally saying come follow me into the unknown.
It was refreshing to take my time through the woods, deliberately choosing this way and that, completely ignorant of time. And the wind and bird chirping the only noises around me. How loud the birds were! You would never notice it if you had a person for a company.
I walked by the Lower Don River, admiring the water flow, the trees hanging over with branches barely touching the water like they are saying take us away with you.
How relaxing it was to listen to the river flow. The river was here 12,000 thousand years ago (fact: it was created after the ice age) and will probably be here thousands of years after me. This realization was quite powerful.
The further I walked, the more types of plants I noticed along the trail. I sat on a big white stone and closed my eyes with my face up in the sun. There are no words to describe the feeling that I felt at that moment, other than bliss. I felt lucky to live in a city where I can get lost in nature within minutes and reap the benefits of grounding myself to earth.
It dawned on me also how lucky the ancient people were to live surrounded by lush, thriving natural world, devoid of pollution, deforestation, and other consequences of civilization. To access at their own leisure whenever they wanted the mother Nature. It is something we the city dwellers can only dream of today.
I passed the railway and some graffiti. I stood on 2 bridges to inspect the water for any sign of fish. Sadly, there weren’t any. I did see what looked like a black swan to me, but it was a duck. I caught it flying off from the water which was the highlight of my trail experience. It made me smile because I was glad to witness it.
At the end of my trail, just as I was about to head toward parking, I turned my head to the left and noticed a small path leading to what looked like an enchanted forest to me. I am not kidding. Thousands of birch trees standing on a bed of sunny green meadow. I tried to capture a crow with my camera but it was hiding in the branches too well.
I left home energized, satisfied, glad, and most importantly, with a clear mind. After just an hour and a half in the woods, I was a different person. I was able to collect my thoughts again and my awareness was raised.
I realized then how disconnected we all are from nature and from ourselves. How we don’t make the time to go with our hearts and mind where our predecessors went. It is unfortunate because nature has much to offer and much to teach us. Evolution of life, unity, diversity, versatility, fragility, and spirituality are just some of the lessons that nature teaches.
The education system should put more value on natural resources and how we can all benefit from them. I am glad to see that nature/forest kindergartens are popping up around the world. Children should be introduced to nature from a young age so they can learn to appreciate the power of nature and help the growing trend of living sustainably.
I hope that this post will inspire you to connect with nature more, to teach your kids from a young age the importance of nature and why preserving it is crucial for our existence and overall well-being.
What is your relationship with nature? Do you make enough time for it?