The claustrophobia of the airplane. Packs of people at the airport. It took all of 5 minutes in this environment before my anxiety triggered diarrhea kicked in and subsequent hemorrhoids flared up. I get so angry that simple proximity with crowds of people cause my body to freak out.
All day I tried to get my nervous system to relax by walking, music, listening to a good book, praying etc. All to no avail. Towards the end of day I was able to take in one of my favorite sights, miles of tulips, my favorite flower blooming in the spectacular Pacific Northwest sunshine. Happy tourists enjoyed nature’s colorful display, expertly arranged by skilled gardeners.
Upon arriving at the gardens I determined not to rush my time there. I strolled. I stood quietly breathing in the sun, smiled at the happy kids tromping through the mud puddles and grinned sympathetically at the parents distressed by mud splattered children. Walking slowing through the color changes, one after another, of row after row of beautiful lines of flowers I really savored the beauty.
At some point I sat at a table and just watched people enjoying nature and one another. At this point I realized my stomach had calmed down and I hadn’t needed a bathroom in over 2 hours, a record for the day.
Something about tiptoeing, or walking in pretty red rainboots, through the tulips and sunshine had calmed my nerves. There is a lesson in this for me. The intentionality of enjoying the beauty of nature calmed my nervous system like nothing else could.
I didn’t need to conquer the field with the determination to see every flower. And it isn’t necessary to climb to the peak of every mountain or hit the end of every trail. There is no need to walk every square mile of the beach. The joy and peace of nature’s healing touch is in enjoying the moment, and breathing deeply until satisfied.
Nature is meant to be absorbed into the fiber of our constitution, healing our souls as it unwinds our nerves and breathes peace to our minds.