Observing and interacting with the natural world has got me through some really tough times. I thought I would try to share my methods in case they might work for you too.

Perhaps I will sit or lie down and look at the small creatures living their busy lives at ground level. I wonder what they are doing and why. Are they making decisions? Or I find a patch of bush or even a single urban tree and look up, admiring the 3-dimensional engineering and beauty of nature.

Look at all the colours! Soothing shades of greens, greys and browns, maybe the striking pink of aerial pohutukawa roots or a shocking yellow lichen. I breathe deeply and am thankful for the oxygen this tree provides.

Another day I challenge myself to engage all my senses in appreciating Papatuanuku. Filtering out the intrusions of modern life and really listening brings an unexpected variety of sounds to my attention. The birdsong is delightful but the calls of insects are more subtle.

The wind has many voices and there may be a soothing background of flowing water. Smells often take longer to tune in to but provide another dimension and sometimes a fleeting distant memory floats in with them. And so many different textures to feel!

Occasionally something warrants a taste test, a spicy kawakawa or some nutritious chickweed. I am regularly amazed by where plants manage to grow. Perched on other plants, sprouting out of walls and pavements seemingly without any soil to sustain them, or climbers defying gravity in their search for the sun. These things are truly awesome Nature is always there, whatever my mood and whatever the weather!

​On a windy, wet day I can still see birds going about their business in the rain. Some of them seem to positively enjoy stormy conditions and make me wish I could fly and soar with them!


Beautiful words written by Mel