I'm choosing this topic for couple of reasons. One, I have a feeling it is going to transform me back in time where I can relive a "What I Did On My Summer Vacation" presentation like I did in grade school. Two, I want to talk about the overall effect that being in nature can have on you, if you allow it and welcome the effect.
A little more background is needed about my recent vacation. This was my third trip to this cabin (it is owned by the parents of my SO), and in my visits I've seen the following creatures:
All manner of fish, including walleye, bass, perch, crappie, bluegill. I have yet to see a Musky, which can be four to five feet long, big hairy teeth, and you see them mounted on the walls of just about every restaurant and tavern there.
Fireflies - I only mention this little critter because they still hold a large fascination for me, dating back to my childhood when I would see them while visiting relatives in Oklahoma. They are pretty freaking cool!
Bullfrogs - I enjoy them more for their croaking than to actually see them.
Deer - pretty much everywhere up there.
Black bears - also common. You're advised to wear bells or carry "bear spray" if you are hiking.
Eagles - They have one of the largest concentrations of golden and bald eagle populations in the country in that area. Not a day went by when we didn't see one.
Turtles - I had a pet turtle for a couple of years when I was a kid,and it always made me think of him when I saw one. I think my pet turtle was a him, anyway; I named him Tommy, but I never, you know, verified the gender.
Leeches - Not a more popular animal on anyone's list, but they don't hurt, and it's kind of cool to tell people you had to pull leeches off your feet and legs if you walked into the wrong part of the flowage (around plants, usually).
Raccoons - everywhere.
Crows - that woke me up just about every morning.
Loons - another indigenous bird to that area. They look like ducks, but are considerably bigger. They mate for life, live off of bugs and small fish (they can dive and hold their breath under water for about a minute, when we tried to time them). They are pretty, but their call is nothing short of amazing. They call to each other mostly at night, and to sit outside by a fire, and to hear their call which, at the risk of sounding cheesy, I would have to categorize as haunting, is something I will always cherish. In my first visit to that area, I witnessed a bald eagle dive-bombing some baby loons, while the mama loon tried to fight it off, right in the middle of the water. To the best of my knowledge the eagle failed that morning.
Being in nature reminds me of numerous things. One, it reminds me that although I may have a larger brain and opposable thumbs, I'm still just another cog in the wheel of life. We were in such a remote area, you could see millions of stars in the night skies. Being in that place humbles me, every time I go. When I was hauling some sections of a dead tree we had cut down out of a very dense part of the surrounding woods, I imagined what it was like for people who first settled that area. Or any untouched area, for that matter. The wood will be used to heat the cabin when the weather turns cold; the bark of one of the birches we cut dries and becomes a great fire starter (better than kindling). There was something really satisfying about that work. I realize I probably sound like the biggest city slicker of all time, and I'm fine with that. In fact, that is part of my point here. If you don't live in a remote cabin in the woods somewhere, go find one to visit, Or some other place that is out of city limits. Living in Utah, we have so many choices for amazing natural destinations, we really are spoiled.
I fully believe that being in nature instantly and automatically raises our vibrational frequencies. Just as laughing, being kind, and giving/receiving affection also raise our frequencies.
I urge you, when you are feeling stressed, depressed, or out of sorts, to go find a place in nature that you enjoy. Maybe the water, maybe the forest, maybe the desert; if you don't know what kind of place makes you feel good, find out! And to begin with, be a minimalist of sorts. If you are hiking, don't wear your i-Pod. Instead, listen to the birds, or the waves, or the wind rustling through the trees. Smell the musky smells of the forest. Sleep outside or at least with the tent flap or windows open, so you can feel the cool air. Look for wildlife - safely, of course. Keep a journal (this will be a future blog topic - journaling). Pay attention to how you feel. If you are unaccustomed to being in nature, you may feel out of place at first. Perservere, open your mind and yourself up to the experience, and I promise you that uneasy feeling will dissipate in time.
Thanks for letting me share What I Did On My Summer Vacation with you. If you were able to endure this, maybe you should consider leaving a comment, and telling ME what YOU did on YOUR summer vacation!
In closing, I hope you will be a part of nature when you can, to come up with your own list of benefits. I do believe you'll discover what they, or rediscover them. And before you venture out into nature, while you're in the midst of it, and afterwards, as always ... take it easy on yourself.