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  • Fe Robinson

The benefits of being in nature

Out walking a few weeks ago at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, my companion wished the trees could tell us the stories of all they had witnessed in the many years they had stood there. I smiled and recalled having a similar conversation with a friend myself many years ago.

I invited my companion to place her hand on a particularly large oak tree, and I did the same. We stood there, breathed, and sensed into the tree. I found it’s communication plentiful, a wonderfully buzzy energy moved right up through my arm, bringing a warmth and sense of well-being with it. I felt my heart-rate reducing and a sense of calm broadening. I watched with pleasure as my companion relaxed, tension releasing. We stood there a while, and it was a magical moment. While the benefits of being with trees are well documented, and I know we breathe in anti-inflammatories when we stand beneath them, I rather more like to notice that trees communicate eloquently when we meet them where they are rather than expecting them to speak English!

There is a power to being out in nature. Trees, water, wildflowers, vistas and the earth beneath our feet can all give a sense of connectedness, and when they are familiar, also a sense of place. It is important to be oriented to the natural world, to be in tune with our own wildness, and with the continual growth and decay that is nature’s way.

As the weather warms, I hope you will find time and space to be out in nature. When you do, stop, and spend some time simply being there, without action or intention, just breathing, and noticing. Sensing yourself as part of your surroundings can be a powerful reset to restore and energise, and to take into other areas of your life.


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