You have heard me say it before in other blogs… Nature teaches, Nature calms, Nature soothes the soul, etcetera, etcetera. And I’m going to say it again, because it’s true… when you immerse yourself in nature, TIME STOPS!
And isn’t this the key to mindfullness, the “hot” new philosophy that preaches living in the moment to minimize stress. Even police departments are teaching this technique to their officers. But, trying to not worry about the past, what I should have done or trying not to worry about the future is dang hard. Mindfullness is challenging for even when you focus ---those pesky thoughts percolate up.
This past summer, I went camping at a primitive and remote site, off a dirt road that ran parallel to a beautiful coastal river. We noticed a small opening in the underbrush and pulled over. We broke through the foliage and followed the overgrown path and were delighted to find ourselves in a little oasis. A hidden campground, fire pit included.
It was a magical place with space for the tent under trees with delicate webs of moss. A secret place with the river just 100 yards away singing a melody that would put us to sleep at night. We set up camp, pulled out our camp chairs and sat quietly among the trees. The miracle was not that we discovered this enchanted spot, but that for three days my brain stopped its daily litany of worries, concerns, and issues to be resolved. I listened, explored, hiked and laughed in the moment of the experience, within the green and lush carpet of nature. Three days of mindfullness with nary a thought of work, the kids, the future. I was on pause, allowing myself to smell, touch, see and hear the deep and forgotten songs that filled my mind, leaving no room for worry or stress
Nature made mindfullness easy. I was able to shut off the clatter of my brain, and absorb nature, leaving no room for disruptive thoughts. I cherished this feeling, tucked it into my memory and returned home, tranquil, slower in pace and refreshed… without stress.