Dappled sun, gently crashing waves and the soft hum of a buzzing bee.  These senses and sounds surround us on a daily basis, but all too often our non-stop lifestyles prevent us from taking the time to notice the simple joys nature gifts us daily.  We take for granted the natural environments that surround us.  From tree lined streets to public gardens and the shade of a solitary gum tree, we are pretty lucky to have nature available to us, wherever we may live.  The positives of having these natural places to retreat to has been particularly evident during Covid-19, when people all over the world relied on these brief outdoor moments to better manage the stress and anxiety of the global pandemic.

Nature does so much for us, and yet we too often take it for granted.  Showing Mother Earth some love on a daily basis will not only reduce your own ecological footprint, but also allow you to appreciate the natural wonders occurring around you.  This in time will allow you feel more connected to your surrounds.  Here are three simple ways you can show Mama Nature some love, which she will reciprocate in ways more mysterious and magnificent than we can comprehend.   

1. Slow Down.  

Stop and Smell the Flowers

As the old saying goes, stop and smell the roses.  But don’t limit yourself to just roses; as you walk around your neighbourhood, notice the subtle changes in the leaves as the seasons change, and small buds emerge, signalling the oncoming Spring.  Don’t feel animosity towards the puddles that stand in your way; think of the live-giving soil being quenched by the rain, allowing all things to grow and flourish.  Notice the bees zipping from flower to tree, tirelessly pollinating all of the vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes we rely on to survive. Take off your shoes and let the cool, dewy grass tickle your feet, with the millions of micro-organisms in the soil, air and plant infiltrating your own microbiome and boosting your immunity and cognitive performance.  

 

2. Give Mother Nature a helping hand. 

Take 3 for the Sea

If you see some rubbish on your travels, whether it be at the beach, by the river or on a trail or deep in the bush, pick it up and pop it in the bin.  Our waterways act as arteries, feeding into the ocean which is increasingly inundated with litter.  Social media movements such as @take3forthesea and @take3forthetrail share the achievable, everyday work of people from all over the world who are helping break the cycle of plastic pollution.  The days of picking up rubbish being ‘not cool’ are well behind us; we need to take responsibility for our waste and taking three is a great way to start.

 

3. Share the love.

If you’ve been reading along to this nodding, thinking, yep, I’m already all over this, then high five to you.  Now I want to you think of someone in your life, a friend, a colleague or a family member who might not share your love of muddy feet and scavenging for microplastics on the beach.  Now, I want you to schedule a (socially distanced!) outdoor date, so you can share your passion and appreciation for the great outdoors. Yes, they might be reluctant at first, but the beauty of Mother Nature is her ability to win everyone over, eventually. Stop to smell the roses, pick up some wayward rubbish and revel in the beauty and power of our pale blue dot, Earth.

Written by Hilary McAllister