I love our natural world. Perhaps due to a childhood spent navigating the mountain terrain of my hometown. Or a result of the genuine and easy connection I feel when I purposefully spend time outside. Our natural world is not only physically beautiful, it is spiritually nourishing and a relationship with it is well worth cultivating.
But how do we bring back our childhood sense of wonder and reconnect to this sacred space?
1. Get Curious
Learn about the stories of the place you live. Who lived there before you? What was their connection to the land? I live in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, a Cree (Indigenous) word which translates into “Peace Hills;” our community was the site of a peace treaty made around 1867 between the Cree and Blackfoot.
There are many other physical features, lakes and creeks, which have traditional names and stories attached to them as well. When I spend time exploring, I think about all of the stories buried beneath my feet and how they shape our community today.
2. Get to Know the Plants around You
One of the most fascinating courses I have ever taken was identifying local medicinal plants and their properties. My suburban yard naturally grows several, including dandelion, plantain, and clover. One summer afternoon, my daughter was stung by a wasp. We applied a spit poultice of plantain that immediately took away the sting—and wowed her in the process.
Many of the plants that grow around us are full of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and healing properties. They remind us of the natural abundance of our Earth and how truly supported we are.
3. Get Outside
Spend intentional time outside every day. Our time outside can become part of the hustle and bustle of our lives. You walk the dog, mow the lawn, or weed the garden, but are you spending intentional time outside? Time where you can slow down, breathe, and marvel at the wonderful natural world around us.
Start with five or ten minutes wandering in your yard or a local park and use your five senses to guide you (or at least four!). Take time to marvel at the color and textures of the plants and flowers, the smells and the sounds. Feel the world around you, and if you know its safe to do so, take a nibble of some local plants; wild rose petals are one of my faves.
4. Say Hello
On my morning walks I’ve made it a habit to greet the world around me. I start with an acknowledgment to the seen and unseen, the busy bugs and bees, the multitude of plant life, and, of course, the small birds and animals I may pass along the way. We are only one part of a vibrant and active web of life.
5. Meditate Outside
Sit quietly and guide yourself to connect with the earth, feel yourself supported and held, then breathe into this support letting your connection expand. I find my own connection to our Mother Earth is nurturing, supportive, and truly loving—a relationship where I can relax and just be.
The natural world consistently reminds me not only of the abundance of our world but of the strength and nourishment we can find when we are rooted in relationship to the land around us. I hope you will start your exploration today.