Viewing, being, doing
By Lynda Shadbolt
This past weekend my friends and I were out for our usual Saturday morning walk with our lovely dogs. We have really fun dogs and they take us on many adventures. It was one of those beautiful fall mornings. The air was fresh, the sky was blue and the colours were stunning. The path that we followed through the woods was a carpet of leaves that were red, orange, yellow, green and gold. The trees were shades of bronze, yellow and some orange and red and the morning light was highlighting all of them.
At one point we stopped and talked about how we feel like we live in art. We are surrounded by art and move through art in all seasons of the year up here. It is always changing and always inspiring. Of course the fall colours are what we are surrounded by right now as we drive the county roads or hike in the woods or look out our living room windows. It is incredibly beautiful everywhere. And it is beautiful in big bold colourful ways and equally beautiful in small gentle subtle ways like when we notice the beautiful spiderwebs covered in frost.
One friend told us about an article she had read in a mental health magazine about the power of nature in terms of healing and well being. The idea that nature makes us feel good. It is restoring. She told us that the research she read suggested that we heal faster and feel better and happier by viewing, being or doing something in nature.
Viewing happens when we look at nature from a window (in a hospital room or from our living room). Being happens when we spend time in nature sitting on our dock or deck or lawn chairand just being. Doing happens when we spend time in nature doing an activity like gardening, playing in the park, walking, skiing, skating, running, hiking, biking etc.
One of the many reasons I love being a Canadian is that we get to experience the four seasons and the experience of living in art is always changing. Every day I take time to enjoy these beautiful fall colours because they soon will all fall to the ground and we will move into another experience. November and the many different shades of brown and grey will surround us and be beautiful in their own way.
I think if we truly believe the world is a beautiful place, we’ll find beauty (in small and big ways) in every season.
All you parents of young children need to keep taking your children outside in all the seasons, under the stars, during the full moons and by the campfires. You are teaching them to live in art. You are modelling how to look after yourself in ways that words cannot always explain but that you can feel in your heart and mind. And when we treat nature like a million dollar piece of art, we all take better care of it.