When we were determining if we should stay in Karmiel or move to a different more central area that would have better access for the services for Yirmiyahu, I made a list of all the positives about Karmiel. One thing that was hard for me to think of leaving was the natural beauty of Karmie that can be seen at every turn – we don’t have to look far or go out of our way to find it.
This may sound material, but it’s not. For me it’s a spiritual and emotional experience. Whether I’m literally having an outdoor experience by camping in a forest or just taking a walk locally and observing the scenery around me, I feel happier, more relaxed and more centered. Living here isn’t like living in a nature reserve by any means, but there are plenty of places for your eyes to rest on something beautiful. So when I saw the book Last Child in the Woods about nature deficit disorder in today’s generation of children the concept immediately resonated with me and the title itself seemed to validate my feeling about the importance of nature in our livess.
Unfortunately, that ebook wasn’t available to check out from my library, but fortunately, the follow-up book was – The Nature Principle. The book basically detailed different aspects of how people benefit by connecting to nature were discussed: physically, emotionally, pyschologically, socially. It’s a worthwhile read.
But you don’t need to read a book to know the restorative power that there is in having some quiet time in a beautiful place. I have my own special place just a fifteen minute walk away – the waterfall in Park Hagalil – and though I infrequently go there, just thinking about it makes me feel more relaxed and calm.
Then there are the many parks and green areas, the rolling hills surrounding the city, the amazing views that I keep discovering in different areas – even a little area where we discovered a number of woodchucks living – I love these things. There are edible plants all over (though I haven’t done much foraging lately I still love seeing them) and literally every single time I walk outside I see something that makes me feel happier inside.
Every time I come back to Karmiel after a day in one of the larger cities, I have this feeling of “Ahhhh, I’m so glad to be home….”
So often I think how glad I am to be able to raise my children in a place where it’s normal for them to experience the natural world. Not having this would be a loss for me. There are conveniences in bigger cities but there’s also a loss when the buildings are so high and the only view you have is of more buildings and more buildings and more buildings…
I spent today traveling to Haifa and though I had plenty to do at home when I returned, instead I chose to watch the kids playing in the park a couple of minutes away, knowing that it would do more to help me recharge after a tiring day than anything else.
Seeing the beauty in nature helps me connect to myself, my creator, to be more patient and loving to others…when I’m having a hard time, being outdoors helps me find the quiet and clarity inside. I have a busy life and if I had to drive somewhere to have this experience, it would never happen. But fortunately, every day during my half an hour walk to pick up ds5 from kindergarten I can see beautiful sights without going out of my way!
I don’t think that beautiful natural surroundings are enough to make a person happy if their other important needs aren’t being met. I would have loved to live in a small village-like area but our family would have been unhappy with friends and schools for our kids being far away. We found a good balance for our family by moving to a centrally located, low density neighborhood in a small city, but you can find natural beauty everywhere – sometimes you just have to look harder!
Do you relate to the feeling of nature filling you up with something good, something important? What does it do for you?