Coming soon to a park near you…You!

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Any area has its own unique energy. You can feel it if you try. This character is right there for all to see, but it is actually much more than meets the eye.

A winter scene in Ohio

How does this winter scene make you feel? A picture is worth a thousand words, but being there is worth a thousand pictures. Get outside and find out instead of sitting in front of your computer and speculating!

One of the best ways to get to know the vibe of the local Nature is to visit many different nearby parks or Nature preserves. You will see a variety of habitats. You will notice the results of different management techniques being implemented by the park managers. You will feel the energy of the Earth being reflected differently in the plants, animals, topography, and watercourses.

You will feel the respect or disrespect for Nature that has been expressed by past generations in the area. If you are in an area where most of the forests are growing on abandoned corn fields, you can feel the tired soil and struggling trees. You will see the sparsity of wildflowers. What humans do is reflected in the landscape. The landscape in turn impacts how humans feel and act.

Get to a park. Feel the Nature of your own area. Is it lacking in some way Can you feel the pulse of the Earth? Is something out of balance? If it is, chances are you will feel that imbalance in your own life. For example, driving by a toxic waste dump or landfill can make you feel uncomfortable. Right? Now, imagine living next to one. Wouldn’t that subtly or not so subtly color everything you do? Over time, our environment shapes us just as much as our human interactions do.

We just don’t notice it.

The old Nature vs Nurture argument becomes Nature and Nurture. We are nurtured by the Nature around us. The natural world allows us to grow and develop. We are deeply part of it and it is deeply intertwined with our being. Just like your childhood home brings up certain feelings and memories, so too does Nature. The closer we get to Nature and the longer we spend immersed in it, the more intense, meaningful and real those feelings and memories become. And, it is those feelings and memories that allow us to fully function as humans. Being born as part of Nature and then living our lives apart from Nature is part of the modern human condition, but it doesn’t have to be. A dog that has his tail and ears docked as a puppy might not miss them as an adult, but there is something missing whether the dog knows it or not.

Humans apart from Nature are just like that poor dog who doesn’t know what it is like to wag his tail or shake his floppy ears.

Don’t be that dog. Get out to a park and explore Nature. Alone or with your kids. With human friends or your dog. Nature is out there waiting for you to come to the park.

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