Over the past few months, I've been suffering from a mild depression of sorts. Hiding away from the world. Tired all the time from lack of sleep. Crying for no reason. The doctors couldn't find anything physically wrong, and I'm going to be seeing a counsellor on Monday. Perhaps it has to do with the miscarriage I experienced in September. Perhaps the daily stress from work is burning me out.
Or maybe, it's simpler than that. See, September is about the time I stop going outside. It's getting too cold to hike. There are no events happening for adults to get them out and about. There's no snow for winter sports.
We got snow, and I mean a good amount of snow, mid-November. By that time, the season of Christmas has snuck up on us. There are preparations to be made! Decorating, purchasing of gifts (and don't forget anybody), planning for dinners, plays to see. Who has time to get outside?
I have been off from work for seven days and still have three days left. It has felt good to chill out after Christmas, get caught up on a few things and just relax a bit. But today I felt truly happy. Happier than I have felt in a while. Today I went snowshoeing.
It really was a bit of a struggle for me. I know I love snowshoeing, but part of me still wanted to just sit on the couch and watch tv all day. A few people have been asking me to go snowshoeing and I just wasn't feeling enthusiastic enough to make it happen. But when I finally went out today and felt the crisp air, heard the squirrels chirping at me and pushed through that untouched snow, I was happy. I asked if I could break trail. I stopped to admire the trees and interesting shapes the snow makes when it falls on fence posts. It didn't even bother me when snow fell off a tree and on my neck. I was happy to be outside!
My connection with nature had been severed these last few months. I wasn't even enjoying my house plants or my cats. I feel like I have re-experienced the true meaning of biophilia and that connection has been reestablished.
It is important for everyone to get outside on a regular basis. Maintaining that connection is imperative to the health of our world. I implore you to experience nature. Get your kids and your friends and your friends' kids and hike, walk, bike, swim, toboggan, ski, snowshoe or whatever! But build that relationship with nature. People who spend time outside are more likely to care about protecting it.