Modern life can separate us from nature as we often live vicariously through a computer monitor or television screen. Connecting with nature rejuvenates the mind and spirit and improves over-all health.
I opened my door this morning and beheld a beautiful masterwork of art created just for me. Washed clean by the rain,( the long needed, long prayed for rain of the desert) my usual vista was transformed. The beauty of purple, wild Asters complimented by touches of green and gold fixed upon a backdrop of crystal blue sky, took my breath away. As my eyes devoured this wonderful treat of God’s creation, I breathed deeply and filled my lungs with the chilled, crisp pre-autumn air. Immediately, my mind relaxed, my spirit lifted, and my still sleepy body began to rejuvenate. The tone of my day reset by the wonder of God’s creation lay ahead of me, filled with promise.
Everything the mind and body needs to maintain health is provided for and can be found in nature. The simple act of taking time to enjoy nature not only improves health but adds to quality of life and is part of abundant living.
Modern life with the technology we’ve become accustomed to tends toward separating us from nature. It is easy to forget how dependent we are upon what only nature can provide. We spend our lives staring at computer and television screens living vicarious lives that over-stimulate the mind and waste the body. I think psychiatrists should name as a new disorder the kind of paranoid mentality that takes over persons who spend too much time online. I see it everyday and to my shame, have experienced it on a lesser level. However, there is no need for a pill to treat this new disorder. The treatment is simply to hit the power button and go outside. This isn’t easy when long periods of computer use have caused one to grow soft and fat but is necessary for good health. No matter how technologically advanced human beings become, we remain dependent upon the basic elements that make up our bodies that also form the earth. There is nothing like sunshine, birds singing, and fresh air to rejuvenate the mind and calm an agitated spirit. There is no exercise like outdoor exercise in warm sunshine to relieve the aches and pains of aging boomers.
I hope to leave my children and grandchildren with an appreciation for nature. I also hope to help them recognize the importance of God’s creation and what it holds for human beings. I want them to know where food comes from and I want them to experience food directly from its source not only for their health but also, that they recognize their place within nature. I do my best to live a godly life before them, and teach them when the Spirit opens the way, but nature has the power to testify to them of God in a way that I never can. God makes His power and majesty known every day through nature but many of us are too plugged in to our technology to notice. By teaching my children to love and cherish nature, I leave open a door for God to enter their lives. Teaching them their dependence upon nature also teaches dependence upon nature’s God. Enjoying nature together with them, is to spend time in holy communion together.
Often, when people are sick, the tendency is to remain indoors. I am one of these. It is how I was raised as a child and it is tough to break those old habits. In my grandparents time, part of recuperating in a hospital required time spent sitting in the sunshine outdoors. A return to this practice, I believe, could lessen the need for antibiotics by preventing infections to set up in the first place. The body needs the sun in order to utilize nutrients and minerals. The body needs properly utilized nutrients and minerals to heal itself. When I have a cold, I want to get in bed and hide under the covers. However, if I go outside, my head tends to clear and I recover my health faster than when I go with my instinct. It’s also easy to become depressed when ill. Enjoying the beauty outdoors in nature can improve over-all mental outlook and mood. Lack of serotonin is recognized as the underlying reason for most depression. Serotonin is stored in the bowel and sunshine is necessary for its release to the brain. Calcium and vitamin D also, can’t be utilized without sunshine. Remembering to connect with nature during convalescence can make enduring recovery easier and return one to health sooner.
Autumn is nearly here. It is that special time of year when nature produces an exciting pallet more pleasing to the eye than at any other time of year. It is nature’s final hurrah that heralds the deep sleep of winter. It is beautiful and brief. It is easy to be consumed by technology and the work and play we perform by it and completely miss what God is doing for us and saying to us each day through His creation. Today, if you are feeling tired, run down, and your body cramps and aches, instead of reaching for the Tylenol, reach for the door knob and spend a few minutes admiring what God has done. Don’t miss the beauty of this Autumn. Recognize your place within God’s masterful creation, breath deep the cool air, and feel your mind clear and your spirits lift and be rejuvenated through nature as your eyes feast upon all that God has done.