Going outside, sitting down: I feel the warmth of the sunshine on my skin. Occasionally the cool breeze. The damp grass I’m sitting on.
I hear a small animal rustling in the shrubbery. A bee buzzes by. A blackbird scolds noisily. I watch leaves flicking against each other in the wind, ants crawling around purposefully on the ground.
I smell the damp earth. I breathe in and I breathe out. Soothed. I become perfectly still. Just being.
During winter when it’s cold and uncomfortable outside, I find it a little difficult to get a dose of nature as it costs me quite an effort to get up and go outside. But when I do manage to spend more time outside (in the dreaded cold) than just going to the supermarket, it actually turns out to be quite refreshing. And even if part of nature may be hibernating at this time of the year there is still enough beauty to be found.
I have read about studies that claim living in an urban environment causes stress and fear for the brain whereas nature has a calming effect.
I feel a little bit ambiguous about this. I grew up in the countryside which may have been great when I was a kid, but I started hating it as a teenager and just wanted to get out of there when I was finished with school. Today I live in the middle of a city (not exactly a metropolis but big enough for me), which is exactly where I want to live, but it means it takes a little more effort to get my dose of nature.
Last summer my sister got into the habit of sitting down in her “garden” for a few minutes first thing when she came home from work. She lives in a small city apartment without a real balcony, but she does have a French balcony (i.e. a balcony door with a railing but without a balcony behind), and when she came home from work she would open the French door and sit down in front of her flower pots and enjoy the evening sun. Here is a sketch of my sister’s “garden” from last summer (In the big pot: rosemary, chives, mint, evening primrose, weeds. Small pots: lucky clover, (baby) lemon tree, cosmos, avocado, parsley with baby lemon tree):