A recent walk in the forests of Tasmania brought a welcome reconnection with nature. The subtle change in atmosphere as I entered the cool of the trees, the muffled sounds of my footfalls, breathing in the fresh fragrant oxygen charged air and the feel of cool bark against my warm cheek was enough to fill me completely with peace, calm and utter pleasure.
“Why don’t I do this more often?” I asked myself. It’s one thing to be on holiday in the stunning landscapes of Tasmania where days can be spent walking, swimming, boating and generally enjoying all that nature has to offer, but it often seems too hard to translate this when returning home to everyday life. Working full-time in the city, outside of work, every available moment seems to be taken up with kids activities, chores, family and social commitments. It seems to take extra special effort and planning to get out in nature and spend some much needed and wanted ‘green’ time.
When I thought about this on returning from my holiday I actually felt pretty foolish. Not two kilometres from my house is one of inner Sydney’s best remnant bush wildlife corridors, a 15 minute drive takes me to the beach with beautiful coastal walks and right next to my work in the city are the Botanical Gardens. What I yearn for, in part, is right here before me.
We can get trapped into thinking that spending time in nature means a weekend camping or a day’s hike in a national park (all great things to do, don’t get me wrong) but they do require some planning and a big chunk of time needs to be set aside. However, I realised I can easily spend 20 minutes in nature every day. I just need to make space for it, no big effort required. This can be counted as quality time with my children, with myself, part of an exercise regime (or not), thinking time, listening time, catch-up with friends, or just simply being and appreciating my surroundings.
Where and how we spend our time becomes what we care about most and want to protect. So why not start on your own doorstep and find some nature near you?