“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
You feel pretty good about yourself. But…
Is that enough? You feel like you have a handle on your relationships and your work, but…
You wish your life had more texture… more richness.
You want a greater sense of belonging.
You long to feel your place in this world.
And you want a better way to shake off stress – to feel healthy and vital.
With all the doom and gloom about climate change, you want to do your part. But you get overwhelmed. Where do you start?
Connection to nature is the key.
You’ve probably always noticed that being connected to the natural world helps.
You were invincible as you climbed your favorite tree when you were little.
You felt peace come over you when you were floating on your back in a mountain lake.
You loved feeling full of vitality as you were hiking… the scent of sage all around you, and sweat dripping from your brow.
Why isn’t nature a bigger part of our lives?
We live in a sprawling metropolis. Sometimes, it feels like you have to drive for miles just to get a little patch of wilderness.
Who has the time?
There’s a job keeping you busy all week… and the kids and family wanting your time on the weekend.
And sometimes, when you do make an effort to get outdoors, you find you’ve brought all your troubles with you. Instead of noticing that butterfly that just flew past, you are going over your to-do list in your head.
But don’t worry: You can reconnect!
Now, imagine being with a small group of like-minded people. I’ll meet with all of you once a week for six weeks.
There are various places where we may meet for our sessions. We may meet at the beach or in a wetlands area along the Los Angeles River – just minutes from your home (maybe even closer!). We may gather in a cluster of Goodding’s Willows, their trunks growing every way, providing shelter, shade, and convenient sitting spots.
You and your groupmates will do activities together, searching out little details in the natural world that you may have otherwise completely overlooked.
You’ll learn to see with new eyes…
You’ll notice the wonder…
You’ll be awed by this world we take for granted!
A profound experience of connection…
You breathe in oxygen generated by the willows around you, and you exhale the carbon dioxide that the trees will then use as fuel.
You are part of the ecosystem.
And being part of the ecosystem brings enormous benefits… and responsibilities.
It’s all about reciprocity. That’s nature’s most important rule.
And when you feel your life within the ecosystem and its rules, you’ll know that you’re not separate from the world, and you’ll find your peace.
The perspective you gain can be taken with you…
Yes, we live in a major metropolis. But that doesn’t mean we have to take a car ride to visit nature.
As soon as we look up at the sky, we are experiencing nature.
When we notice the squirrel doing its amazing high-wire act, we are experiencing nature.
When we tend to a house plant, we are experiencing nature.
When we eat that delicious, ripe peach, we are experiencing nature.
All these experiences can help you feel as connected as you do in the middle of a forest.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”
–Hans Christian Andersen