“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” ~John Muir
I have been enjoying touring Nova Scotia in search of hiking and walking trails (and other adventures), for my blog Beachcomber and Trail-roamer. I have been marrying my love of writing, photography and Nova Scotia. I have been re-discovering my love of nature with every step.
I learned to appreciate nature from the time that I was very young. I was taught to see nature as everything from a recreation center, to a grocery store, to a pharmacy. I learned early the value of being outside. My playground was either a frozen lake, the beach, a forest trail, a field of flowers, or a mud puddle. Playing often involved picking berries or casting a fishing line. I fished with my dad, picked berries with my mom, and helped both my parents dig for clams. I did those things not only to have a delicious meal but to have fun.
I also learned the value of maximizing natural resources.
I learned that salt water could sooth an infection. That in a forest emergency tree sap could be used to seal a bad cut until medical help was available. Seaweed could serve as insulation around the foundation of a house – and it certainly did. If I was out playing, depending on the time of year, snacks were readily available in the form of whatever berry was in season.
As adults, commitments find their way into our lives and we become “too busy”. We often stop taking the time to enjoy and appreciate all of the simple pleasures in life, or to appreciate the value of nature.
So, I make a point to continue to enjoy these pleasures, and to experience the many benefits of the great outdoors. I am thankful to be able to share my nature photos and blog posts, as they often act as incentive for me to get outdoors.
I am an introvert. Some might say an extreme introvert. On some days I may tend to agree with them.
It has been my experience, and general consensus that introverts gain their energy from solitude, and that their energy is drained from being in crowds of people. In my full time job I am surrounded by people every day. Surrounded by people talking all day – talking to me, talking around me, talking at me….. talk, talk, talking. Much of the time I enjoy the day-to-day interactions with others. And I very much enjoy, and value, long talks with a friend. But the introvert in me often becomes tired from all the day-to-day talking. By day's end I am happy to have a little alone time. And I long for the sound of a song bird in a tree, or the rustle of leaves on which he perches. I look forward to the quiet company of my little nature friends.
I rush almost everywhere I go. I walk fast. I want to get chores done quickly. I am impatient much of the time. And I am a slave to the clock. Always wondering what time it is, how long something will take, will I be on time, why isn’t my friend on time?…......
But this is not the case when I am walking in nature.
Time stands still. I forget there is even such a thing as time. Life is not measured by minutes, days, months – not while I am surrounded by flowers, birds, leaves…. Life is in those moments is measured by how much nature I can absorb and the amount of joy it brings me. It is measured by how much of it I can photograph! I am forced by my own love of the delicate details in nature to slow down and absorb them all. To be completely and wholeheartedly aware of my surroundings and to notice all of the tiny lives that make up this world.
I am drawn to all of the patterns, textures and colors that I miss when I am rushing through life. And in those moments of observation I don’t for one minute think about what time it is.
Above all else, I feel healthiest when I can spend time in nature. My mind feels healthy, my body feels healthy and my heart feels healthy. I have more energy on the days that I spend in nature. During a hike I am thankful with each step for my ability to stretch and climb. I am mindful of the stretch of the muscles in my legs as I climb up hills and over rocks; mindful of my heart beating and my lungs filling with fresh air; mindful of a calm and stress-free mind. And I am happiest in those moments.
Spring and summer in Nova Scotia are optimal times to experience nature. As you will see from the photos in this post, it exists in so many places, and in many forms! Enjoy it!