Forces of Nature

Sunburns, bruises and more, but here's why it's all worth it...

poison ivyThe forces of nature are against me!

How do I know?

In the past two weeks, the rain caused slippery stairs, which I fell down and got a doozer of a bruise. The sun burnt my skin leaving it sore and lobster-hued. And a jaunt in the woods resulted in painful, itchy rashes and blisters across half my body (that wretched poison ivy!).

It has not been fun!

I didn’t get these from being careless, either. I was cautious in each circumstance. I took it slow down the stairs (but just not slow enough!), I have a nearly obsessive habit of applying sunscreen (but missed reapplication of a few areas), and I spent my whole off-trail hike looking out for poison ivy (though clearly I overlooked the perpetrator).

So with all these afflictions that I failed to avoid, does this mean I should stay indoors? Swear off nature? Hang out in a bubble?

At the peak of my misery with the poison ivy, I was tempted to say an emphatic yes! But that opinion only lasted a minute. In reality, there is nothing that will stop me from heading out again and again, because there’s nothing more magical than being out in nature. Whether it’s strolling post-rain, lazing in the sun, or exploring the woods, these precious experiences with the Great Outdoors is something to truly cherish.

No matter if bug bites drive me mad or I get scraped up by jagged rocks in a river, I have to spend time among the wild, natural landscape. Not because I’m an outdoorsy tree hugger (though I don’t mind that title), but because even the most city type of city lover need time to enjoy our wonderful natural world.

Why it’s all worth it

Studies show that spending time in nature keeps us calm, it helps lower blood pressure, and it alleviates stress, among many other benefits. It’s part of our human nature to spend outside connecting to the land. For me, it’s a place where I go for clarity, rejuvenation, to meditate and to contemplate, to play and to exercise.

So no, I don’t enjoy injuries, burns, bites or having my skin freakin’ poisoned by a very rude plant, but every outing I have had is worth it. All bad symptoms aside, I’ll never stop going outside. My outdoor adventures give me a sense of ease. An inner peace, an appreciation for beautiful things, creative ideas, and a happy, joyful escape from my computer, smartphone and the busy action of the indoor world.

As I keep writing this blog and my poison ivy itch cream begins to wear off (nooooooooo!), I will continue to remind myself why I must still keep heading outside.

I head outdoors for an immersive sensory experience and appreciate the fresh air I breathe, the warm sun I feel, the frog croaks I hear and the refreshing raindrops I taste. The rewards of nature far outweigh my woes, so I’ll keep on venturing out…though maybe in a bubble.

This goes for anything in life. Keep going outside, keep falling in love, keep building your business, keep following your dreams. You’ll have setbacks, that’s part of the process, but it’s all worth carrying on.

This is nature, keepin’ it real.


river scene

Photos: Top, poison ivy, take note of what to look for. Bottom, my lovely view experienced while poisonous greens attacked.


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