Many of us who claim to love the outdoors can unanimously uphold that nature is discernibly beautiful to look at and enjoy time in, but if we take the time to recognize the intrinsic value it carries, nature can be so much more. The human mind is constantly thinking, feeling, deciding its next action and incessantly repeating thoughts as if productivity were the key to happiness.
But trees, plants, nature- these elements contain the value of simply Being. They are not clouded by memories of the past or fears of the future because they are exhibiting the aliveness of the present moment, and humans who sense this subtle peace are drawn towards the magnificence that lies in the simplicity of nature.
Humans are equally as part of the natural world as are mountains and rivers, so spending time feeling the essence of nature is a perfect opportunity to reconnect to our deepest selves. Respecting nature and honoring each of its unique elements can be a great practice to deepen the awareness within and around us.
For example, instead of pursuing parks for matters of practical use, we can shift our intentions from dominating to cohabitating with nature and adding to its beauty. Instead of using our gardens as a means to an end, we can remain present and enjoy each part of the gardening process, from harvesting seeds to gathering fruit. And, even simply taking the time to sit in silence with a great Oak or listening to the song of a tiny sparrow, is a chance to discover a deep peace and a renewed sense of wonder.
It is only after true recognition of ourselves as co-inhabitants with the earth and the natural world that our relationship to our environment and ourselves becomes enhanced in a way which allows us to see the perfection within ourselves and the entire Universe that always is and always will be.