I think connecting with nature in a way that’s special to you is really important. For me the ocean and the beach helped spark my appreciation for the natural world and my desire to look after it. I grew up near the beach and there’s still nothing quite like the golden light at the end of the day as the sun illuminates the hazy salt air; the smell of the ocean and the freedom of diving into the cool water.
Author Richard Louv, paraphrasing environmental educator Jon Young, recommends finding a ‘sit spot’ to connect with your local environment:
Jon Young, one of the world’s preeminent nature educators, advises finding a special place in nature, whether it’s under a tree, the hidden bend of a river, or a rooftop garden. “Know it by day; know it by night, in the depth of winter, in the heat of summer,” he writes. “Know the birds that live there, know the trees they live in. Get to know these things as if they were your relatives.” They are.
In our daily lives we can be disconnected from nature in ways that impact the way we value it and its inhabitants. Knowing our local environment, even if it’s just one spot that you love, can be a powerful way of connecting us to the wider natural world and recognising our place within it and our reliance on it.
Photot at top: Enochlau, Wikimedia Commons