Finding Nature

How do you get your nature fix?

Do you camp? Ski? Hike? Walk the dog? Garden?

Is it enough?

I’d love to spend more time camping. Unfortunately, our favourite spot is a 4 hour drive away, and travelling with a 5 and a 1 year old in a car for 4 hours ranks up there with having my teeth drilled on my list of favourite things to do.

Besides, things just seem to get in the way, don’t they? Our past week of -20C temperatures, and a never-ending supply of viruses (thank-you kindergarten!) have put a damper on our winter activity.  As Canadians, summer is much more conducive to outdoor activity. But, when our coughs, stuffed noses and sore throats abated for a single weekend day, and the snow fell heavy and wet, and the wind was calm, we took to the front yard, and built ourselves a snowman, rolled in the snow, and had a wonderful time.

We get ourselves an annual membership to the local conservation authority, which lets us into all the areas for both winter sports (cross country skiing) and summer hikes and picnics. We are lucky to have an abundance of publicly-accessible greenspaces and trails in our region. If you take the time to learn where these invaluable spaces are, and make a point of visiting them, you may surprise yourself with what you find. When we took up Geocaching (treasure-hunting with a GPS unit – more on that in another post), we were amazed by the number of beautiful greenspaces we never knew existed within in our own city limits.

But finally, as a tie-in to my last post, nature can be found everywhere if you make a conscious effort to notice it or even to make it happen. Finding nature can mean watching the worms come out of the dirt when it rains. It can mean looking around at your neighbourhood gardens and appreciating how people have tried to make the world just a little more beautiful. It can mean stopping to listen to the birds chirping over the traffic or catching the scent of apple blossom on the wind. It could even mean creating an indoor garden or terrarium. My 1-year old is drinking a bottle right now while staring outside at a group of juncos at the birdfeeder (a rare moment of peace in what is otherwise a very busy, noisy day). These small moments and actions become more and more important in our urban lifestyles.

So, where do you find nature?

Ben and dad


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