Since finishing a 3-year work contract in Japan last December, I have been making the most of my free time by getting outside and enjoying nature. While I had a great time living and working in Japan, I felt a bit cut off from nature. I was living in Osaka, a city of 3 million people, and working in a sky scraper. I was working as hard as the Japanese, frequently working 13-hour long days, with only a couple of breaks for lunch and dinner. The apartment I lived in was cave-like, with only one window that looked out onto a small gap in between my building and the one next-door. I at least had my weekends free to visit the outdoors or parks, but in Japan, you can almost never be truly alone in nature. Since there are so many people, there will inevitably be quite a few people visiting the same places as you. So visiting Australia, and being back in Canada feels like returning to nature for me.
In Australia, I was lucky to be staying near a beautiful arboretum located on the banks of the Brisbane river. I would walk there with my boyfriend’s dog, and spend an hour exploring the arboretum, watching the ducks and meditating. It was so healing to be able to sit there and listen to the birds and watch the river flow by…
Since being back at my parent’s house in Canada, I have been running daily on the bicycle path near my home, which flanks a wooded area, and bringing my own doggie on daily walks to the park. I have also started a vegetable garden in our backyard, that I tend to daily. I started the garden about 3 weeks ago, and it is now growing very well. I am able to make a salad for lunch every day from the lettuce that I have been cultivating.
Studies have shown that being in nature is actually very beneficial for human health, and can provide healing effects.
Now that summer is here in Canada, I plan to fully take advantage of what mother nature has to offer. 🙂