How to Learn from Nature

September 8, 2023

Faizah Latif (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer

“What is the good of your stars and trees, your sunrise and the wind, if they do not enter into our daily lives?” – E.M. Forster

Nature is healing for the mind, body and soul. This summer, I spent extensive time in nature hiking, visiting  beaches and catching sunsets. It was an experience that allowed me to feel refreshed and grateful for the surroundings we have around us. The trees, water, landscapes, seasons and animals all have a profound impact for us internally. Have you noticed how beautiful it is to witness a sunrise with the birds chirping in the background? 

One of the greatest blessings of living in Canada is being able to witness the diversity of seasons. We are able to experience different weather, allowing activities specific to the season, as well as impacting our personal moods. Some individuals become sad when it is raining, while others love it. You may have heard of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, which has an impact on individuals during winter due to the cold and lack of light. While there are some individuals who become excited over winter activities like skiing, others prefer the summer, where they can relax at the beach or go on hikes. Finally, how can we forget about the in-betweens of spring and fall, where everything is either blooming or letting go? The beautiful growth of leaves in the spring and the changing colours of the leaves in fall are definitely wonders to take in.

Nature is constantly shifting, and what we learn from this is that events in our lives are constantly shifting too. When the leaves fall off the trees, it is an indication to prepare for a harsh, cold winter. Then in the spring, the leaves come back and bloom to prepare for the summer weather. Similarly, the sun rises and we rise in the mornings too. Then, as the sun sets, we prepare ourselves for bed and rest so that we are refreshed for the next day. These contrasts allow us to appreciate and look forward to the light when it is dark. On a deeper level, the constant changing of the days and nights shows us how fleeting our experiences are, whether good or bad. We really can affirm through nature that nothing lasts forever. 

We can also see nature’s resilience through strong winds, the waves rising in the ocean, the thunderstorms, and heavy rainfalls and snowfalls, as well as the intensity of the sun during a humid day. As human beings, we too have the power to be resilient and to “weather the storms” in our lives. We live through ebbs and flows, and this can be represented by the waves at the sea rising and falling. Recently, I went to a park and witnessed a beautiful waterfall, observing how powerful, yet calming it was. This balance truly is the beauty of nature.

Have you ever noticed that, after spending time in nature, you feel better physically and mentally? Witnessing nature allows for the healing of wounds and processing of trauma because of the peaceful surroundings around us. As silent as nature can be at times, the lessons to be learned are deeply profound. Activities such as hiking, canoeing, swimming, horseback riding and skating, to name a few, are not just enjoyable, but allow us to truly experience nature in its true form. Taking in our surroundings and being in the present moment allows us to fully reap the benefits of the natural world around us.

The colours, textures, size and impact of different forms of nature allow our creative sides to come out. Using our sight, we can truly marvel at the beautiful colours of the leaves as they change in the fall, and using our imagination, we can try to figure out the messages the stars and clouds are giving us! The possibilities are truly endless and every individual will interpret something different, which is the fun part. Art through means of photography, drawings and paintings are created by individuals, however, nothing can compare to viewing the nature in its truest form, can it? Additionally, we have skyscrapers in big cities that are human-made, but they just can’t come close to the vast beauty of the nature that makes up our environment. 

I challenge you to explore a new environment in your town/city where you can take in nature’s beautiful surroundings and self-reflect. Allow feelings and thoughts to come up and notice how nature plays a role in the promotion of your growth and wellbeing. Let your path be guided by nature and allow it to transform you into the best version of yourself.  

Faizah is an aspiring social worker, currently in the process of completing her master’s in social work. She enjoys self-development and advocating for important causes in the community. Writing is one of Faizah’s passions, and she is honoured to share her writing on the Low Entropy platform in the hopes of providing inspiration.

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