Caterpillar Balancing is a very special image, because had I not ‘paused’ a moment, I would never have captured this. In this case, I want to explain why the story behind this image, is just as important as the image itself. I’ll set the scene for you: I was running out the door (running late) and my partner was waiting in the car with the engine idling. It was raining. I had what you might call an ‘intuition’ that I should stop hurrying for a moment and take a quick look at the raindrops forming on the red stems of a weed growing in the rock garden. I signalled to my partner I’d be there in a moment. He’s ok with that, because he knows and understands the sense of wellbeing this gives me. As I look here and there, I notice there’s a little caterpillar, and crouch down to get a better view, I use my iPhone and Olloclip macro lens to get a better look, and incredibly, a ball of red liquid forms on his head, which must have been a mixture of the red stem he was eating and a raindrop. Just before he drank down the elixir and it disappeared, I was extremely fortunate to capture the second before. I’ve never seen anything like it before or since and the feeling I got from observing this, was one of great awe and wonder. Nature has so much to show us, it is only ever a pause away.
Nature Nurture stands for the nurture I receive whilst experiencing nature and this is my first blog entry about it and I’m so glad you’re here.
For what seems like ages, I’ve wanted to share my encounters and observations in nature, in-depth reflections, poetry, photography and I find blogging to be a holistic way of doing that. Not only did I want to share with readers who are interested, but also keep an account for myself and future generations, to pass on what I’ve seen and learned.
For so many of us, the encounters are shallow , fleeting and brief, nondescript as we rush to our work places in cities and suburban settings, often a bird will flit by, however we pay it no attention. Each time nature presents itself to me, I try to stop and observe. For most people, there is rarely enough time to eat, let alone observe and yet, all it takes is a decision to pause and you can experience a rare moment of connection that can alter the pace of your day and your perspective, eliminate for a moment the burdens and worries and give you a chance to space out your day, so that you become more reflective and less reactive.
Let me encourage you, to stop today and every day, for 1 to 5 small minutes that will turn into the best most memorable minutes of your day, to fully immerse yourself in the observation of nature. Possibly just watch a leaf move in the breeze, sit with the sun upon your open face, marvel at a piece of grass that is growing through a crack in the sidewalk, watch the dance of a butterfly, the pattern of a bee’s movements. The best moments often present themselves, as sweet opportunities, but we tend to ignore them, choosing to complete our work rather than stop to watch a bird or a butterfly. I tend to stop whenever possible, even pause in conversation to point out to a friend, the dance of a butterfly, or the pattern of a bees movements. I hope you’ll try this simple painless therapy and let me know how you feel during and afterwards.
What I’ve noticed is that during these moments of what I call ‘mindfulness with nature’ is that problems, troubles, trauma and anxiety dissipate and when you emerge, it is as though you have hit the reset button on your life. Your face will be glowing and the burdens you carry far lighter, you will begin to tell other people about your encounters with nature. What if, each and every day presented you with numerous opportunies to feel feel refreshed and renewed? Would you take advantage? I think sometimes, the reason we don’t take advantage is we don’t believe it would really benefit us, and sometimes we feel to harried, too busy, we feel too stressed, we just don’t want to interrupt ourselves from our workflow. Sometimes, that’s more important, I understand completely. Pausing periodically though, to take small breaks, is very beneficial for your workflow, your inspiration and your perspective, why not try it and see whether you find your whole outlook improves. It certainly does wonders for me.
For more information on research into the health benefits of spending time in nature, please visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/about/programs/gsv/pdfs/health_and_wellness.pdf