I have been wanting to write a blog post before this month ended and look it’s September tomorrow already. Wow! 2020 has been a weird and crazy year!
I have been thinking a lot about the healing power of nature in these times that you can access from your backyard to your local parks. I think people are realizing the importance of nature for your mental and physical health and beyond. For me, I have been trying to return to the reciprocal relationship that Robin Wall Kimmerer mentions in her beautiful book of essays, Braiding Sweetgrass. For example, I am enjoying exploring new county parks and I am also working at some this season so there is a balance where I get to appreciate the flowers, insects, birds, and give back to nature by picking up a lot of trash, weed whacking so more plants can grow, and enforcing rules so people can support their local parks’ budgets too.
I am so grateful for this work experience and the chance to be in open parks during this uncertain time. I have a lot of anxiety that has been rampant with everything going on, and when I am in nature I can truly see myself relax and let go of the worries. It is important to have this self-reflection time in nature to be with your true self and I think nature has been healing me. I don’t get so caught up in the media with it’s instant frantic news and judgements with a very divided America. I can see above it all and go back to my purpose in life- to give and receive love. I give love to nature, and nature gives love to me. I can return to my gratitude practice that has sustained me since I was 18 years old and be thankful for the lessons and blessings on this planet. Someday I would like to go back to school and get a certificate or Master’s Degree in Positive Psychology and do research on the healing powers of nature and how gratitude plays a role as well. Positive Psychology doesn’t forget about the hard times in life, but gives us tools to be resilient and strong to get through them.
I can tune in to my inner guidance in nature, and return to my best version of myself so I can help others and the world. I want parks to be accessible to all to enjoy and for everyone to be kind back to nature. I know life’s more complicated than that so just focus on the small steps that we individually can do.
There’s a lot going on as we navigate these strange times, so be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and be kind to this planet. Here are some photos of some of the adventures Ian and I have enjoyed in our local Clackamas County Parks going in later hours in the evening with not many people at all so could be physically distanced(don’t worry we had masks available in case we needed them). We got an annual pass since I am working seasonally as a Ranger at Hebb Park which is in the cover photo, and thought we could explore the others to get more acquainted.
Much love to you all,