Point Reyes, CA. © Copyright Given Photography 2018
Earth day is all about recognizing our role in sustaining the earth. It's a reminder that we are all one global community sharing this great big planet of ours and what we do effects everyone and everything.
I have a different approach. Turn it around. Think of it as a new beginning.
A day to start nurturing yourself with the earth's help. Because if you nurture yourself, take care of yourself, it only follows that you'll take care of our beautiful planet--the place where you live--where you experience your life.
Let me explain.
When I walk to calm my crazy thoughts or stretch my back from sitting in front of the computer all day, I often take a path through a wooded area in a park near my home. As soon as I step onto that path, I immediately feel better, lighter even.
My mind slows down and worrisome thoughts about my to-dos or other people fade away. I begin to notice things. The squirrel chattering at me for invading his territory. The tiny Winter wren hopping among the leaves next to the path. The smell--oh-so-wonderful-smell of the outdoors. From pungent to fragrant and every earthy smell in between.
And then there is the glorious green. Every shade, everywhere creating a lushness like nowhere else.
After awhile I see art. Scenes that have been copied and reflected a zillion ways by artists throughout time. Twisted and arched branches. Ivy winding up trees, protectively encircling the trunks as the vines climb toward the sun. Ferns growing abundantly, their sword-like leaves adding dimension and shape to the underbrush.
The winding path often teases my imagination. What secret place might lie at the end and where does that moss-covered wooden staircase go.
A few minutes later, when I emerge, I feel different. Nourished or replenished are good words to describe how I feel. The feeling is subtle, but it's there. I'm more in tune with my own beauty, but not in a vain way, but a soul way--a bigger than what I can see way.
I'm also more in tune with our natural world and I've captured some of its lessons...go with the flow...we are more connected than separate.
The strong feelings of flow and connection stay with me for awhile and never completely go away. I know this might be a little abstract, but after you try this a few times, you'll get what I mean.
So this year on earth day, or any day for that matter, try celebrating and honoring you with a little help from mother earth. Here are nine earthy things you can do.
- Walk in nature. Take advantage of its restorative powers. Even a brief walk will do wonders for your overall well-being.
- Cook a meal from scratch with organic ingredients. It doesn't need to be fancy. Just a way to satisfy your hunger. Roasted protein of sorts, steamed asparagus topped with olive oil and a dab of dijon mustard or a simple tossed salad dressed with balsamic vinaigrette and a pan of rosemary-garlic roasted potatoes or roasted root vegetables. Wah-lah...a wonderful meal to share. Plan ahead and make it a farm-to-table dining experience with a visit to your local farmer's market to gather the ingredients. Really...this is the best kitchen art ever.
- Gather some friends for a bike ride. It's fun, rejuvenating and an oh-so-youthful outing.
- Find a park bench and take a good look at the scenery. Notice everything--colors, flowers, textures, birds and trees. You'll be amazed by the amount of simple natural beauty that is surrounding you. Don't forget to look up!
- Think sustainable. Treat yourself to lunchat a locally owned restaurant that uses fresh, local organic ingredients instead of buying something over-processed and over-packaged. You will be much more refreshed and energized for the rest of the day.
- Explore a local arboretum. Wander through the paths and note all of the interesting foliage. You’ll be caught up in a seasonal show of bright colors. It’s a wonderful gallery of sorts—displaying huge varieties of plants, flowers and trees. Pebbled paths, water features, natural stone sculptures and footbridges accent the landscape designs. You’ll find it easy to have a deeper presence in the meditative surroundings. Look for secret gardens and benches tucked in unexpected places, perfect for reflection. Try to give yourself at least an hour. You’ll know how much you love it, if you can’t wait to come back.
- Increase your vibes by visiting waterfall. Have you ever noticed how good you feel when you are standing near a waterfall? There is a scientific reason for this. Negative ions in the air near the water have been proven to improve our mood and increase our energy.
- Go on a photo shoot. Grab your camera and head to the nearest park. Look for interesting spring foliage and gorgeous saturated shades of pinks and greens. Don’t limit yourself to just the trees and shrubs. Add interest to your photo collection with shots old rod iron gates covered with growing vines and stone paths littered with cherry blossoms. Try to see things from a new perspective. Shoot from the top down or try a quirky composition with a skewed horizon that follows the lines of the foliage. Remember it’s creative fun and no critiquing allowed. At the end of the day, find a special place to sit for a few moments. Then take a picture of the view and post it where you can look at it often during the week for an instant lift to your spirit.
- Experience the blissful peace of a night sky. Look at the celestial bodies, see the Jupiter Moon, ponder the age-old question of what is the meaning of life and thank your lucky stars for all that you have.
What do you think? Do any of these suggestions resonate with you? Do you have any of your own earthy activities to share with others?
If you want to participate in Earth Day activities click here to find them in your area.
To know more about the Nature Me website, read the sweet little guide to Nature Me.