Feeling at Home in Nature
What does nature connection mean to you? For me it means feeling ‘at home’ outdoors. Feeling comfortable, feeling safe, that I belong. Comfortable to sit on the dirt, in the leaf litter, on the rock. Safe enough to lie back, close my eyes and relax. But also with a keen desire to know the place more, curious to explore, see who else lives in this place, find paths and routes, get an image of the land in my mind. I trust that Mother Earth holds me and I am grateful for being part of the natural community. I wish to leave a piece of me and thank the place I momentarily called home.
Isn’t this what we wish for the children in our lives? To feel safe, connected and at home in the place they are. Children learn by mimicking adults. They pick up on our feelings and behaviours, filing them away as ‘normal’ behaviour, practising what they see through their play and actions. If we prefer being inside more than outside, so may they. If we are hesitant to sit in a pile of leaves, so may they be. If we are afraid to step into a narrow bush path, they sense our fear.
We all know how important role modelling is for young people but it is also about giving ourselves the opportunity to feel connected. Don’t we also deserve to relax, explore, wonder, feel safe, feel at home in nature? Are you able to find 5 minutes of stillness in nature every day? Even if it is reading to your child in the yard with the chance to take a breath at the end or stopping to study an insect with a student in the playground. I believe that gifting ourselves this time helps us feel whole as a human living within nature.
In October this year, I am delighted to lead a Nature Connection Retreat for Teachers in one of my favourite places. For five days we will spend time slowing down and opening ourselves to feeling at home in the Western Woodlands.
If you are a teacher and would like more information on the retreat please visit www.educatedbynature.com/retreatsandtours . If you are a parent, you may like to consider inviting your teacher to be involved and gifting them a relaxing week in nature.