Discovering nature’s magic, and a lesson
There’s nothing like spending time with nature. It’s truly a company like no other, with which you never feel alone, rather it feels like someone ardently accompanying you. That’s why I often feel it’s like a great book – the more you read, the better you feel and of course, the better you become.
It’s a shoulder one can sincerely rely upon that effortlessly plucks away any stress we may be carrying and calmly plants the much-needed tranquillity. Magical is when it also presents the ‘key’ to our concerns, and ‘answers’ to many of our arduous questions, followed by the ‘space’ it presents to contemplate them – arming us with many realisations and lessons.
Interestingly, we may be soaked in its ‘silence’ that Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu labels as a ‘source of strength’, or leisurely keeping tab on the wind rustling through the trees, or may be just the sound of waves by the beachside – there’s something that unlocks the creativity within us. Take the case of those, who suddenly become poets sitting along a river bank or during a walk in a forest. In my case too, the writer in me comes alive with many ideas that go on sprouting. For the conclusions too, I often run back to the lap of nature, considering the magic is bestows. Certainly, there’s a reason why John Muir, a Scottish-American naturalist and author once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives more than he seeks.” How true!
Reflecting on my own experiences of being enveloped in nature, I have weaved many soothing memories. From trekking in a Douglas fir forest in New Zealand to snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or even the simple early morning walks back home to watch the sun rise in the village fields. Believe me; even racing my mind to them is so therapeutic, and considering their effect, I can’t agree more with American poet Henry David Thoreau for the epiphany he came up with: “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
Surely nature is even more than a therapy – a free medicine that juggles many roles and virtues that joyfully even heals us. That’s why, the land of rising sun, Japan, introduced the concept of forest bathing concept. It was born in 1982 as a national health programme called ‘Shinrin Yoku’ which means spending more time around trees, where you simply have to lose yourself and be a pure observer of the environment around.
It all commenced, taking cognizance of how stressful its citizens had become due to excessive work, especially in Tokyo. Hence, every week in Japan residents spend at least an hour in a forest or a park to practise this fruitful bath, and according to a recent study released by World Economic Forum, “Spending time in forests lowers our heart and blood pressure and reduces stress hormones. Besides oxygen, trees also release several essential oils that even treat insomnia and depression.”
In nature, there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are only consequences. Maybe the birth of coronavirus is one of the consequences that we are all busy grappling with, and hopefully we will learn our lesson, too. rameshinder.
MAGICAL IS WHEN IT ALSO PRESENTS THE ‘KEY’ TO OUR CONCERNS, AND ‘ANSWERS’ TO MANY OF OUR ARDUOUS QUESTIONS