There was a great article in the local paper last week about reconnecting with nature.* One thing the author mentioned was her goal in 2014 to do one thing every day that she could only do in the summer. I love this idea!
Perhaps you’ve heard of “earthing”. Borrowed from electrical jargon, a new meaning of this word is to balance our constant exposure to electronics by spending daily time (45 minutes minimum) in direct contact with nature. Walking in dewy grass with bare feet is the best, but any available means to get outside will help readjust bodily rhythms, and bring calm to an over-stimulated nervous system.
A few days ago, when the weather was still summery, I was at a friend’s farm, picking blackberries. As I kept strolling farther from the house and the road, it became more and more quiet. Birdsong increased, and the ground beckoned. I lay down on the warm fragrant grass and felt my whole body relax into a profound experience of being supine. Immediately I questioned why I haven’t made time to do this regularly. It’s so easy to get caught up in work and timelines, fires to put out and tasks demanding attention. Of course these activities are necessary, but time out is essential for our health and long-term well being.
I maintain a regular home yoga and meditation practice, but those moments on the ground made it clear that there’s absolutely no substitute for direct contact with the earth.
* “Vitamin N: Have you had yours today?” by Dr. Ingrid Pincott. North Island Midweek, September 10/14.