Monday, March 16, 2020

Nature Therapy in the Midst of Pandemic

I've posted this on both my Groundling and Lion Lamb blogs today. 

Since we retired -- in my case closing in on three years -- we've spent an increasing amount of time outdoors. We've enjoyed some lovely trips to the Azores and to Newfoundland where we hiked and paddled and swam. For the most part, though, we've enjoyed parks and paths within a couple of hours of home, where we've hiked and skied and paddled and swam.

Our outdoor excursions have turned up a notch in recent weeks as the threat of COVID-19 has steadily increased. It is so easy to become mesmerized by the flow of information from our disaster boxes --why do we call them smart phones? - so we get moving, even in inclement weather.

I appreciate that this is a privilege not everyone can engage in, because of physical restrictions and the demands of employment and concerns about personal safety. We don't take our freedom of movement for granted and I certainly don't want to flaunt it. 

At the same time we're taking to heart the growing body of literature, including from spiritual sources, which suggests that moving outside helps to reduce anxiety and is healing for body, mind and spirit.

We walked in a local conservation area on the weekend and Ruth commented that it was reassuring to walk amidst the trees which could not transmit illness.Instead there was a sense of comforting kinship. We listened to the birds, including returning red-winged blackbirds and robins. We heard and saw wild turkeys and woodpeckers and other species. No social distancing was necessary, We also spent time by water, which is back to singing its song. 

Today we'll head out for a ramble with the grandlads, which is always a delightful perspective on the world.  

If it's possible walk outdoors, or look outside during these uncertain times. God the Creator offers solace through the marvelous web of Creation, and we can breathe deeply of this gift. 

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