I don’t remember when I first started loving nature. I guess that’s because I always have. There wasn’t a before. There wasn’t an epiphany moment. There wasn’t a eureka. It’s just always been.
The natural world is my sanctuary. Whether a beach with waves crashing by my side, a rainforest constant cacophony of sound, the still of a forest or the vastness of the African plains. That’s where I find peace. That’s where I find tranquillity. And that’s where I find the answers I don’t always realise I’ve been seeking.
As I sit and write this now, the knees of my jeans are caked in mud from an afternoon at a deer park guiding others in nature connection. The joy at upturning a piece of deadwood to find the bugs crawling around underneath. The calm of sitting inside a hollowed out log from an oak tree that, based on its girth, would have stood tall in the park for hundreds of years. Listening to the birds as they go about their business – some courting, others frantically searching for food to feed the new brood, others claiming territory from another. Getting up close and personal with the leaf litter beneath my feet. This is why I quit my job a year ago. So this would be my office, the birds my co-workers offering chatter in the background.
It was the natural world that told me to quit my job. It was September 2019 and I was walking along a beach in Costa Rica. To one side of me was the lush jungle, to the other the warm waves of the Pacific ocean were breaking. I can’t recall whether it was the ocean or the jungle, or perhaps their two voices combined – but I was told that a desk job wasn’t for me. That a 9-5 didn’t suit me. I wanted to be outside. I wanted a life that was spent connecting both myself and others to nature. And here I am.
I often turn to the natural world to guide me. I know she’ll support me and bring to me what I need at the right moment. She doesn’t judge. She listens unquestionably. Holding space for me to let out whatever I need to. Space for me to be. And then she’ll offer her words of wisdom. Sometimes they’re hard to take. Sometimes they surprise me. Sometimes they jar with what I had been thinking. But invariably they’re what I need.
More often than not, I now turn to the sea for advice. Every day I aim to walk along her shores and talk to her about everything and nothing. Sometimes I am unsure whether the salt water I feel on my face is from her or from my own tears. Perhaps they’re a combination of the two. She is my confidant, my guide, my teacher, my friend. When I ask her a question – she answers. Whispering words to me, for my ears only to hear. Over the past year she seems to keep whispering the same words to me. Trust. Patience. I’m learning to do both.
Invitation: the next time you are in need of guidance – I invite you to ask mother nature for help. I wonder what she’ll have to say?
If you feel moved to take this invitation, I invite you to share what you are noticing below.