What is it about being outdoors in nature that calms our spirit and clears the mind? Have you ever had a bad day and after going for a walk, sitting by water, riding a bike or watching the birds – your negative feelings all but disappeared?
Maybe it’s by spiritual design, but nature contains within it all the wisdom that exists in life, living, death and rebirth. Just watch as flowers in a garden begin to brown and die off in late fall, but somehow tiny new buds begin to poke out with a brand new life after the snow melts -- one tiny, individual life popping up as if to say, “Ahhh! Hello!”
If you’ve ever worked in your garden, you can’t help but feel differently. You don’t have to be good at gardening or have a green thumb to notice this effect. It’s as though the weed you pulled to make room for a new tulip or lily, suddenly showed you appreciation for your efforts by giving you a smiling new bloom. The clearing out of the old to make way for the new is a powerful and subliminal metaphor for life. No words have to be spoken. Nature’s healing effect comes while you’re not looking. It’s subtle and Quiet, but overwhelmingly powerful. Everything in nature is a teacher, when we slow down and look at the minute details. It shows us death and the fragile nature of life. It magically causes our brains to think; to reflect; even to wonder. When a loved one has passed away, whether person or pet, perhaps nature is a rescuer of the soul in ways we can’t measure or fully comprehend, but we know it somehow helps us to feel whole again. Mourning the loss of a loved one is an especially good time to experience nature. It can be as simple as sitting by one tree that exists in the backyard of your city apartment. Cemeteries provide a peaceful haven that typically makes one slow down and contemplate life and living, while visiting those who died before us. There are people who enjoy visiting different cemeteries simply to learn about people and connect with divine order. Even old cemeteries from the 17th Century that have worn out stones or broken cement monuments, offer up a glimpse of history and a sense of peace. If you’re feeling down today, make yourself go outside. If you have a favorite spot, go there. When you feel the need to clear your head and shake off negativity the world easily puts on us – give yourself permission to take a time-out. Whatever task or problem that’s on your mind will feel different after a date with nature. For people in mourning, eventually that date with nature will have changed you; and you don’t return entirely to your old feelings but instead feel ready for a new beginning.
Article Submitted by:
Tim & Alison Dinan, Owners
Cook Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service, and Hillcrest Cemetery
Serving Bainbridge Island, Kitsap County, and the Surrounding Puget Sound Region