Since the dawn of time there have always been (and probably will always be) the darkest of disasters in both Mother Nature and human nature. Thankfully, few of us will ever face tragedy that strikes with the strength and speeds of tornadoes and tsunamis; or with the ferocity of floods and forest fires. Yet, most of us do indeed confront crises (real or imaginary) that can instantly change the course of our lives, eclipsing not only our dreams but also our desire to carry on. I know because I’ve been there.
Tragedy strikes everyone sooner or later. In my case, it just happened to be sooner than most. I started life in an orphanage, lost both adopted parents to cancer the year I graduated from university, faced that dreaded disease myself long after my divorce, and fractured a vertebrae to be told I’d never play sport again. Shift happens!
Although the ‘f’ is often omitted, shift happens not only in fault-lines of the Earth but also in the faults and frailties of its inhabitants. Even the most horrific events can stimulate us to grow stronger, acting as a fertilizer for consciousness to germinate seeds of hope and optimism once buried in avalanches of despair.
When faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles, there exists that fine line between succumbing or surviving; retreating or rebounding; giving up or getting up to try again. We can, and do, bounce back from most setbacks, but there are some things we will never get over. We can only get on with a life that will never be quite the same again. Just as our environment continually evolves and renews after the worst tragedies, so too the human spirit can become stronger with time spent in nature far from the fast paced and noisy world of high tech.
Apart from the need to re-charge phones or devices, my own energy always seemed boosted amidst nature. Climbing in the sublime silence of the Antarctic, strolling along a beach or gazing at a beautiful garden all offered their inexplicable breath of fresh air for my soul during dark days. Only while compiling The Gift of Nature-did I discover why that was so. Research from leading universities offers scientific evidence that time spent in nature does indeed contribute to better mental well-being.
So, when you can’t see the forest for the trees, when everything under the sun seems bleak, when you think no one else understands or has been there, think again, and again. And know that lessons from Mother Nature can help human nature soothe your battered soul as you weather the inevitable storms of life. Such is the power of nature amidst the random nature of being alive.
Yes, life mirrors nature-some of its tragic-but most of its magic!