If you have never been in nature alone, in a remote spot away from people and all things man-made, you must try it. I highly recommend nature therapy. It can be magical.
The more I go, the more I love it. I often hike the entire day without meeting anyone. Being completely alone is a pleasure to me. Something inside starts to settle; it is a little bit like entering a different reality. No drugs are required.
Alone in nature, nobody wants something from me, and I don’t want me to be different either. As I meander connecting with trees and rocks, I enter a dimension where goals, chores, targets, wants, and needs fade away.
As far as I know, flora and fauna are not asking for our approval, nor does it approve or disapprove of us. That is what makes it so relaxing to be in nature – the trees, rocks and birds don’t need us to be smarter, better, slimmer, richer, younger or better.
We have created a crazy society based on targets, goals, likes, followers, competition, opposition, success, and money. In the forest, none of that exists.
If you want to hug a tree, great. If you don’t embrace that tree, it is still doing what it is meant to be doing. If you want to watch a bird, wonderful. But if you choose not to, it is still doing what it needs to do, whether you like it or not.
Sometimes I walk between trees and rocks, other times, I sit somewhere silently and just observe. Often something unexpected happens. Usually, wildlife emerges and shows me something I have not seen or known before. Often it is something exciting, interesting, and wonderful.
Being in nature feels right and reminds me of sanity. Coming back to the human world with all its pressures and demands can be a bit of a shock. Not getting caught up in our man-made reality is a continuous practice for me – sometimes it is easy and sometimes not.
PS: Stay safe when hiking alone. Make sure you understand the risks and take precautions. Always let someone know where you are. I carry an SOS beacon for areas without mobile reception.
Beautiful Poem by Mary Oliver (Poet,1935-2019)
How I go to the woods
Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.
Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.
If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.
― Mary Oliver