Mother Nature’s Cure for Lives All a-Tither
By Di Chapman
God bless Mother Nature.
Kids, I’ll tell you, she’s the best medicine for relief from sooo much in a thing called “life.” She can offer us beautiful blue skies, blessed days of rain, and refreshing breezes. She even gives us the chance to live in places that offer more rain than sun, more wind than calm, more heat than cold, the opposite of each, or a blend of some or all. She might have her moments of consternation with us certifiably exasperating humans—and heaven knows we have yet to outsmart her or beat her butt at anything—but I’ll take a day or evening in her company anytime. And I’d like to suggest something. If you don’t already, perhaps you should start enjoying her company, too.
That “Nature Girl” can arm wrestle some of life’s most stressful and unpleasant activities and experiences with the best of them, and win some breathing room on your behalf. She’ll help you exhale when you realize that life has had you holding your breath, or loosen your jaw when you realize you’ve clamped down like a pet with a tasty morsel. She doesn’t require you to spend money to mellow out your brainwaves and get endorphins flowing. And that, my friends, is one of my favorite topics and pieces of advice to you and everyone I know. Mother Nature needn’t cost anything, and she can be the best stress-reliever, eye-opener, problem-solver, and producer of “Eureka!” moments on the planet, her God-given playground.
The minute you strap on your tennies and step out of your home or car to take a walk by yourself, with a friend, with your pooch, or all of you together, Mother Nature takes over your head. She’s the joy in your doggie’s eyes when you attach the leash and trot out the door in your bare feet in the spring or summer. Mother Nature makes it easy if you want to reconnect with yourself, your spouse, or your family. She’s in the car with you when you decide to take a drive (long or short) with a basket of goodies and the anticipation of simply enjoying the scenery. Get out in the backyard, the woods, the neighborhood, or the nearby park. To you ladies, I swear, the ultimate path back to recalibrating our brainwaves is hitting the proverbial trail with any number of girlfriends—all chatting at once. Let the exercise and the hen party begin.
Trying to describe the Godzilla-sized stressors we’ve endured this year would be like trying to describe the Big Bang. But I’ll choose tax preparation (always an achilles heel for me). So I will focus on that particular, personal Armageddon. Let’s process this with my “Mother Nature as cure” approach.
Tax preparation seems to separate Americans into different camps. I’m of the “Yes, I do them, but kill me now before I get started!” camp. “Finding paperwork” really means running through the house browbeating myself because I have no clue how I manage to hide paperwork that I know I filed in the right place. This is a constitutional. Why? Heaven knows, not I. “Preparing paperwork” means watching Mark jump out of my path (for fear of bodily harm) as I tackle disorganization. It means constant shuffling and reshuffling of documents and starting over and over when another stray piece is found. Expletives fly. There is always something—a file, a receipt, or car registration stuff—that decides to disappear. Did they grow legs?
Another camp of tax prep is those who have the attitude of “Eh, I just don’t file.” (Okaaaayyy.) Or, “I no longer have to file.” (Lucky you!)
My favorite is, “I’m already done. I filed January 5th.” (Oh, come on! No angst? No stress? No dread? It’s downright un-American.)
In all of the madness, however, I have found the solution to the head-banging, wailing, and confusion that comprise my tax preparation. I go outside.
Outside is our world of birdsong, trees, breezes, and water. I remember my first week in our townhouse in Roswell. I didn’t know what a wonderful location we had chosen. We moved here from traffic-jammed California, where the constant hum of freeways is everywhere. One day I stood out front here and listened. “Wouldn’t you know?” I shook my head. “We must be near a freeway again.” Little did I know I was listening to Vickery Creek after a hard rain. The rushing sound I heard was water. Hallelujah, Mother Nature!
And now, Vickery Creek calls to me with a “come hither.”
We have beautiful birdsong everywhere. Come outside to clear your head and get your endorphins flowing. Tune into the birds around you. In Georgia, they sing and sing—apparently performing The Sound of Music. Then, trot down to the trails above the creeks and listen to those bobble-headed woodpeckers at work. Dang if they’re not feathered jackhammers. A hoot owl has claimed one of the Vickery trails, and his staccato “who-who-whoooerrr” bellows through the air. He’s a huge guy with an exorcist head that spins. Check out the oversized eyeballs. You don’t want that dude’s wingspan flying at you. Deer are everywhere.
Listen, y’all. This year has sucked. Think about easy ways to help “reset” your brains, recalibrate your thoughts, and get your body and endorphins moving. Get outside. Let your mind drift to the sound of the creeks, the birdsong, and the scents of spring. Okay, okay, take your antihistamines. I get it! Carry tissues for nose-blowing. (I do!)
Perhaps it’s the Chattahoochee that calls to you, or the trails above Vickery Creek, or the Nature Center. Perhaps it’s the walking paths throughout our parks, or your neighborhood sidewalks.
Perhaps you’ll see me. Look for the polka-dotted mini pack. I’ll be there.
Di Chapman is an inspirational author and speaker, and a branding consultant. Di’s latest book is Rekindle Your Purpose: Break through your disappointments, discouragements, and detours to resurrect your purpose and live it!