Making Changes to Connect with Nature
April 19, 2021
By Frank Viera, CNC Docent
It was March 2020 and I had no idea how much my life would change and what an influence nature would have in helping me cope and even bloom. Until March of 2020, I was more active than not, walking to and from the bus stop to go to work and actively volunteering at the Chattahoochee Nature Center every other weekend. Also a few times a year I would take road trips visiting zoos, aquariums, nature centers, and national/state parks. I was outside a lot and my ties to nature were strong. My life was good.
Then in March 2020, the stay-at-home orders arrived. Honestly, at first, it was great. No commute, working from home, and Amazon brought all kinds of goodies regularly, including groceries. After months of rarely going out and spending all day sitting in front of a computer and nights sitting in front of a TV, I was not happy. My occasional back pains had become almost constant and every day was just the same as the one before.
It started with short walks to the mailbox a few times a day to stretch the legs, and hopefully alleviate the back pain. Eventually, I was walking 3 miles around the neighborhood each morning before work. The birds were singing, the squirrels were making squirrel noises, my back, and my days were feeling better. I can’t say the walks were the only reason, but they did contribute to taking actions I had been delaying far too long.
To stay in this month’s theme, my seed was germinated and I replanted it so it would have room to grow. I sold my house and moved to a neighborhood backing up to a greenway, nature preserve, and environmental center protected lands. I now start and end most days with a walk in the woods on one of the many trails in my neighborhood. I still long for the days of volunteering at the CNC and road trips around the country. That day will come but in the meantime, my life is good because I connected with nature, again. Whatever it is, a walk in the woods, volunteering at the nature center, or road trips around the country, find your link to nature and watch yourself bloom.