Week 12: a date with greenery
The healing effect of nature
I was brought up in a new town outside London. Concrete was everywhere along with traffic and shopping precincts. We had no car to get out into the nature which existed on the outskirts, but my mum was- and is - a tenacious woman and we went walking with our 3 dogs seeking out green spaces and fresh air where we could find them.
That love of nature and fresh air has stayed with me. I fell in love with my husband when we were 19 and we walked up a Derbyshire hill in the dark and he told me about the stars around us (and no that is not a euphemism!). University in Liverpool provided wonderful parks on our doorstep. And now we are settled in Yorkshire, a more gritty, craggy and at times bleak nature surrounds us.
To me our earth is grounding; walking on high terrain often liberating. Working full time finding that connection can be tricky, but it is a necessity. I am lucky there is a park near the school in which I work. When I can, I spend 10 minutes there at lunch time. Working in a very busy, often noisy environment, means I need the quiet solitude of green spaces. They, along with the feeling of fresh air on my face, cleanse my thoughts and relax my shoulders. I am invigorated and energised.
There has been a trial in schools which has been reported on this week - students walking a mile each day outside, around school. The findings seem to be conclusive - students are calmer, fitter, more focused. I would add they feel part of their surroundings rather than alien from them and this is what I feel is one of nature's great gifts.
This experiment highlights a potentially life changing habit that can benefit all.