This blog post is inspired by the title of a recent Nature Conservancy of Canada 2018 speaker series exploring our relationship with nature. The session was titled "Nature and Me - Relationship status: It's Complicated".
This title had me intrigued! Status of our relationship with nature? YES - interestingly and uniquely put Nature Conservancy! We are all in a relationship with nature! But how often do we think of it this way or even as a partner in our lives ... with a status? From life sustaining processes to the bath I gave my daughter last night - we are always intimately engaged in this relationship that goes far beyond what we can see or sometimes imagine.
So what is our status? Is our relationship to nature complicated? Maybe, but it's definitely a dynamic relationship - like most relationships. There are times when I am actively and fully "engaged" in my relationship with nature and other times when I feel "separated" and disconnected. Sometimes I just feel "open" to a relationship with nature but my indoor comforts are just too good at the time.
But is it complicated? Sometimes? It strikes me however that when I allocate time to be in nature is when things often feel the most simple. That's why I love it - it gives me a break from day to day distractions and eventually gives me a chance to just be myself. It's a time when my children often experience me at my most grounded ...without one more thing to do before I give them my full attention. And nature facilitates the experience for us all- challenging us, accepting us and connecting us. I can just enter the play or kick back.
What is complicated are all my other relationships that interfere in actually getting out the door. Not necessarily people but things like my phone and other screens, work or less tangible things like my expectations of myself through out the day and my own list of "should - dos". When I think back to when things feel the least complicated, it's when I'm outside sharing in an experience with my family and just having the space to be ourselves. Back to basics. Status: Simple.