Too busy to connect with nature?

It’s good for your body and mind to just sit back and relax in nature for a while. It does your soul good. But life can get too busy to connect with nature, “I haven’t got the time to go out to woods”, “I live in flat/apartment so I can’t get grounded or visit trees” etc. We all make excuses but it’s much easier than you think. Even if you live in a bustling city you are still surrounded by nature.

Parks, gardens, church yards, even towns and cities are a haven for wild life, beautiful trees and plants, and don’t forget the beauty of house plants too. You just have to open your eyes and look. Nature is wonderful and plants sneak into all sorts of cracks and crevices.

I’m lucky enough to live in a semi rural area now but I haven’t always. My previous house was in a major town, full of offices, shops and concrete. We had a few parks with ponds and plenty of trees, grass and flowers. Not to mention the abundance of life in all the neighbours gardens. So even walking down the road could reveal an array of flowers and trees all around. In the heart of the concrete jungle of the town, I could always find a few trees, border plants along the walkways or hanging baskets above shops. These in turn would attract birds and other creatures. Most people just walk past without noticing. Sometimes it is important to actually stop and look up.

We had a small garden bordered by hedges. I had the teeniest of vegetable plots here that provided enough for just a few meals but it was more about connecting to nature than harvesting any amount of produce. The rest of the garden was just grass but it was big enough to sit out in, walk on with bare feet or lay back and relax in. I had a bird table (still do) and used to put out food to encourage the birds to visit.

I also used to visit the local parks, just to sit and breathe among the grass and trees was bliss, although you could always still hear the traffic. One park had a small stream and ponds, so I got to enjoy the swans and ducks too. Parks are also a good place for people watching. I love to see friends enjoying each others company, couples walking arm in arm or families with children letting off steam and having fun. People always appear so much more relaxed when walking beside water or through trees and grass. Just to sit and do nothing for 5 minutes here could make a difference to my entire day.

However, one of my favourite places was the ruins of an old chapel and the attached graveyard. It was behind a church and was always very quiet. The thick walls of the existing church and the walls around the ruins provided shielding from the noise of the traffic. Apart from the old gravestones, there were trees and wild flowers, birds, insects and small mammals. Not many people visited the place and I found it an absolute haven. My own private and very peaceful nature spot, right in the middle of a busy town.

Old ruins are few and far between but churches and church yards offer the same quiet peace and are more easily found. They usually have some very old trees affording shade, shelter and a stable tranquility. If you can’t find a church yard just look around the streets, very few places have no plant life at all. If you really can’t find any then look up at buildings for the birds often nestled high up. A crack in the pavement or sidewalk can also produce the miracle of life, as some weed or wild flower has sent out roots to the earth below.

If you are able to, then it’s lovely to actually go off and visit, fields, woods, the beach or any other open space where you can lose yourself in nature. If you can’t do that, then look closer to home. Life is all around us, it is good to switch off from your phones and technology for a while each day, even if just for a short while.

Just stand or sit still for a few minutes and you will start to see and appreciate the nature all around you, wherever you are.

Reconnect with nature, it will do your soul good 🙂

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