I shall seek the peace of wild things

When I read of how people go to nature to soothe their senses and refresh their spirit, I am bemused. For we live in nature even when we live in a great city.

Perhaps an apartment dweller does not encounter many trees, and their feet may seldom touch grass, and the only animals they may see are pigeons - and of course what is really meant by "going to nature" is walking in the woods, or along the beach, or through the wild mountains.

But I think it's dangerous to see things that way. If nature is something out there - disconnected from us, a space we can visit - then it's all too easy to believe that the pollution in our city air, the rubbish clogging roots of our scrappy city trees, is not a problem with real nature ... it's just the city ... a dusty flower bush surrounded by concrete is not "nature" and we in our air conditioned rooms are not nature either.

Lately I've seen scientists and doctors trying to change the conversation about food away from "carbohydrates, fats, minerals" and into "whole foods" - reminding us that in reality we're not eating a portion of carbohydrates and vitamins, but a plate of potatoes and spring onions and feta cheese. I wish we would consider nature in the same way. We are inside it all the time, whether we live downtown or in the forest.

If we want to use nature to soothe our senses and refresh our spirit, perhaps we could :

Learn to love the skies and gardens and breezes that surround us ...

Care for nature everywhere in order to make a strong, healthy, and refreshing environment ...

Be in relationship with nature rather than just using it as entertainment or a tool ...

And remember that we are not visitors to nature, we are members of it.


  1. Exactly. I love the way you said this, especially the idea of being in relationship with nature, rather than using it as a tool. If we love something, we don't use it, we seek to give.

  2. One of my favourite podcasters on the topic of holistic health always refers to what is right for us 'as a species'. It's a simple comment and not something he uses as a hook in any way, but every time he says it I get chills. We are animals, we are a species like all the others, we ARE nature. I've been reminded this year how acknowledging our place in nature as one of the family and connecting with all those family members is hugely enriching. x

  3. A holistic point of view - and a good one.