“Go outside and play.”
How many times in your childhood did you hear that?
Do you think you heard that more than your peers or less?
Were you an indoors-y child or an outdoor enthusiast?
Did you not hear “go outside and play” enough?
The very command, “Go outside and play,” has a lot to do with your LINK to being outdoors and where you lived growing up.
If you lived outside in a warm climate year round, you might have played outside more so than children who lived in colder climates. Your connection and your mental LINKS to nature were created long ago, regardless of where you lived geographically.
For some, sports activities outside link adrenaline to nature. If this is how you connected to nature, chances are you have the recall factor of wind in your hair, sun sizzling with the sweat you are working up on your skin and maybe burns on your knees from falling on sand catching a volleyball, or grass while catching a football.
While for others, quieter activities like reading outside may have you recall the wind blowing the pages of your book or magazine, smelling freshly cut grass or blooming flowers from your neighbor’s yard or hearing birds chirp or rustling leaves of the trees while playing board games on your porch. These memories of being outside bring more of a mental connection to nature than physical.
Whether you are a daily hiker, climber, cyclist, skater/skateboarder, surfer, runner/jogger or yoga person or a beach chair lounger, nature has its role in your life.
LINKING TO NATURE stirs up emotional and psychological wellness just as much as the physical activity you attach to it. “Going outside” to play has been taking all of us to a place of familiarity where we find another piece of ourselves, and who we are.
Whether you’re taking in a sunset or watching the moon, getting rained on or hit in the face with a leaf blowing off a tree, nature has its contact with you and you are connected to what it brings to you, even if your connection to nature is not just playing outside, but actually WORKING outside.
Now take this very idea of being linked to nature and ask yourself if “going outside” brings forth energy in your mood. Chances are you will say that it does.
The late Karen Carpenter sang the lyrics, “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.”
Does rain get you down? Or does rain feel like a cleansing fresh slate to you?
In Justin Timberlake’s “Cant’ Stop the Feeling,” he sings, “I got that sunshine in my pocket,
got that good song in my feet” – and he is happy about it.
got that good song in my feet” – and he is happy about it.
Does sunshine make you happy? Or is it something you do not think about unless you actually have plans outdoors?
Just like high tide and low tide, moon cycles and planetary shifts, our LINK to nature has the power to affect us wellness and our own personal cell system of energy is sometimes affected by what nature brings.
Our connection to Mother Earth is also something that literally keeps us grounded or moved depending on what is going on with the planet. We are forced to shift our minds and bodies by the force of nature. In other words, nothing stays the same. Even if our lives may feel stagnant or complacent, they are changing daily, just like nature changes.
The four seasons occur for reason and purpose so that life itself can grow and flourish.
If we look at the season of flowers growing, seeds sprouting, trees reaching for the sun upward in the sky, wind blowing to scatter debris away in the same breath it may bring volunteer growth from seeds scattered, we see change. If we examine the nesting of birds utilizing what nature provides for the birth of new life to build their nest or watch the bees pollinate and do their magic, we understand our food source, which sustains life connects us to nature on a whole other level.
Seasonal foods are vital to our health in the very time they appear and are produced for us to enjoy them… we are talking the NON-GMO foods which grow naturally in their own time/season. Certain fruits and vegetables are NOT available all year long and that is for purpose. Eating watermelon in the winter is not necessary. However, it presents itself seasonally to be available to humans when we need to consume it most, compensating hydration so our bodies can function properly.
Nature LINKS us to what we need, when we need it as we need it. It has a very essential role in our lives to our existence. It has the power to give us life lessons, too. We learn that change is something we can count on, even if life may feel the same, just like nature it is always changing.
As we examine constant change with nature and its seasons, we learn that we can adapt as things change and this has the ability to empower us to be strong because we see that change is possible.
When the California drought took hold, many lives were affected as a domino effect of this change. Food crops became more expensive, some businesses went under altogether and water, which is life … changed life. California is a major crop source provider and provides 2/3 of the nation's fruits and nuts (easy now... I'm talking crops, not people!) The domino effect of change occurred for more than just humans, but animals who took to the city desperately looking for water, their life source in suburban neighborhoods and urban landscapes, where they are not usually seen.
When the snowfall and rain finally arrived to replenish Mother Earth, many lives were affected as well. While most are grateful for this rain, there are many in their paths who were changed by life and property loss, tragedy and livelihood in one swoop. While others relished the snowfall and took to the slopes to ‘go outside and play’ in what was a very long-awaited event in nature.
This is just one example, but again we are shown – nothing stays the same. Nature brings change to us. We ourselves are shown what nothing is permanent and nothing is temporary either. Nature teaches us to savor what we have when we have it and be grateful; and shift gears to becoming stronger when we may not be aware what we possess internally. We can learn from our experiences, see our worth, and become aware of endurance we did not know we even had.
Nature’s LINK to life on Earth is about change.
What else can we learn from our LINK TO NATURE?
Nature has the power to heal. Sometimes without upheaval, we stay in ruts, which stunt our own growth, and exploration of what could be possible. The changes nature pushes us to explore help us examine other sides of life that we would not have experienced without it.
Think about many of the natural disasters we have had from weather. We learn that these disasters can bring together a community, neighbors, friends and rebuilding is possible. We learn about the kindness of strangers and those offerings of assistance we may have felt didn’t’ exist because we were too jaded toward in embracing humanity to believe it was possible.
When we have a season change, people do “go outside and play” and this brings fellowship and gatherings, we make new friends, share the outdoor space, connect with something as simple as the words “Isn’t it a lovely day?” to a total stranger in passing.
When the weather is rainy or cold, sometimes people gather under an awning or share an umbrella or gather inside a warm coffee house and connect indoors when the outdoors is not cooperating.
As the sun blazes, people may complain, “It’s too hot today” and begin conversations in camaraderie waiting in line for ice cream or share sunscreen or shade from a tree.
From watching crashing surf waves, birds fly, squirrels scurry up trees and insects fly and crawl – we get to observe life around us in motion. We can gather inspiration from the fact that everything in nature is about adaptation, survival, acceptance, growth, emerging from all that nature throws at us, and there will be a bright, breezy sunny day once again.
Taking our cue in adapting transforms us, as we begin to see that all things have a time, reason and season for the moment. Just like nature, we can LINK our own mental, emotional and physical wellness to the idea that change happens naturally whether we choose to take action to change on our own or not.
It is in nature, we are linking our lives to evolution and transformation whether large, or small bits at a time no matter the weather or how we ourselves weather our own life storms.
As we move forward, we can be thankful for every drop of rain or sunshine and see the rainbow of opportunity to embrace the gifts of what nature gives us to be open to the process.
Go outside and play… and thank nature for all the healing it brings you in your connection to understanding its magical gifts provided and how life wouldn’t evolve without it.