When we ask our guest, we get many reasons for why people go hiking.
To promote physical fitness, for a mental break, to be a challenged – be it mental or physically, to spend time with loved ones or to connect with nature.
Connecting with nature is a phrase that is used a lot, but what exactly does it mean? It is an elusive concept that is worth delving into.
Is being in nature the same as connecting with it?
Clearly a forester or a miner is in nature, but does that mean they are connected? Is the jogger who is listening to music or thinking about renovating their kitchen as they pound out the trail connected to nature? Maybe…
To my mind, proximity is only the start. Connecting with nature as I have experienced it, is something deeper than just being amongst the trees.
Connection implies a relationship, a bond and maybe even interdependence. It is where two become one, and for me, we connect when we are in awe.
Only when spellbound by her, do we forget ourselves and truly connect with nature.
How do we get this experience? Is it something we have to wait for, or can we improve our chances of connecting with nature.
Absolutely you can. Here are some techniques which we have discovered over the years.
Seek time in nature
Connecting with nature is difficult if you are not in nature. It can be done, but it is hard. We can dwell on nature’s glory, but there is nothing better than an experience. It doesn’t have to be out on a trail, it could be in the garden, or the local park, and in fact as most Australian’s are urbanites, this incidental time in nature is very important.
Not seek or look for, but “notice”. Beauty in nature is all around us. We only need notice it. Be it watching a pelican take off in flight, breathing in the aroma of a rose or taking 10 seconds to watch and listen to the chaos of a tree rustling in the breeze. When we do not label it (bird, flower, tree) and we merely notice, these common things can be extraordinary.
Learn about nature stuff
Did you know that most of the water on the planet comes from the tails of millions and millions of comets that have struck the earth? Amazing right?
Did you know that a Quenda (southern brown bandicoot) has a gestational period of just 13 days? Incredible eh!
Without that bit of knowledge, it is a cup of water or a small marsupial, but as we scratch the surface and learn more, we can be transported to states of awe.
Make regular observations
A great and very practical way of connecting with nature, is to make regular observations. Simple things like having a rain gauge or keeping a backyard bird diary can draw us into a closer relationship with nature.
When did the jacarandas flower last year? Was that before or after the star jasmine?
One of our regulars has champagne on his deck while watching each and every full moon rise into the sky. Beautiful!
There are many more ways of connecting with nature. If you have your own way, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.