There is nothing like waking up to the sound of birds singing to cure what ails you. There is just something special about being surrounded by nature and all of it’s glory! Sometimes we take for granted those things that become second nature to us, but this was a Saturday filled with the best to remind me of the blessings that mother nature has to offer.
I always wondered why the birds flew south for the winter when I was growing up in Indiana. It seemed like an awful long way to fly to escape the winter winds! But now I get it – I understand why the birds fly south and the snowbirds (our human visitors) make their way to our sunny destination.
I was talking to a couple of my neighbors in Sebastian this weekend and they reinforced the importance of heading south for the winter. One came to us from New York and one from Michigan. The look of pleasure on their faces when they talk about wintering in Sebastian said it all. Jeff was able to stop taking medication for high blood pressure when he left Michigan and traded in his snow tires for a new set of golf clubs. Is that amazing or what?
We are directly and immediately affected by the positive affects of nature as soon as we come in contact with it. Evolutionary Biologist E. O. Wilson coined the phrase “biophillia”; the innate tendency to affiliate with other living creatures and processes.
Our physical and personal relationship with nature is very old and it is logical that this interdependence is complex and strong. Those “nature” urges that live within us are still quite intact, giving way to a sense of peace within when we just take a few minutes to drink it in.
There are studies that show that within five minutes, physical activity in the presence of nature can improve your mood and sense of well being. Natural landscapes have been shown to stimulate the parasympathetic system to reduce blood pressure and stress within.
Those things found in nature have shown to have a scientifically proven healing affect on the body; including varying temperatures, uneven terrain, sunlight and micro organisms. I suspect that there is a whole world of subtle natural phenomena that has yet to be studied, that are at work on our bodies when we are exposed to a natural habitat.
It all seems so simple, get out in nature as often as possible. Our bodies work best and heal faster in its natural habitat. Incorporating outdoor workouts as often as possible can put a whole new perspective on our fitness regimens. Experiencing nature can literally transform us and cure what ails us!
I don’t often sit still to just listen to nature, but today I just sat and looked and listened to the sounds surrounding me. The birds sang in praise of a beautiful day. Fish jumped for joy out of the water – or rather right out of the mouth of the bigger fish below them perhaps. I watched pelicans diving for their lunch. Geoffrey and I saw a dolphin swimming around a pelican just because it could. We watched the dolphin surface so close it rocked the pelican in its wake.
I listened to the wind tossing the palm fronds in a gentle song that almost sang me to sleep. I became keenly aware of the sound of oak leaves dancing on the pavement as they blew in the wind. I breathed in the salt air breeze blowing across the river and realized once again – it is always there – the calming effect of nature. I just have to stop long enough to enjoy it. pkp