There is healing in nature, healing in being outside. I believe wherever you find yourself; the ocean, the mountains, the prairies, the hills, the woods; being outside in nature can bring you closer to God.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul” (John Muir).
Nature is free therapy. An appointment with the greatest Healer.
A couple of months after my brother’s death, I was told I was suffering from PTSD after finding my brother. I remembered from a homeschooling conference that I had attended, a story about how they were treating war veterans suffering from PTSD using garden therapy. So I got my hands in the dirt. I began planting bushes and flowers around our home. It was time I could spend alone talking with God or it was something the kids and I could do together; allowing an opportunity for meaningful conversation. This time brought peace and healing while giving me a sense of purpose.
It took me a few more months to begin exercising again. Physically, I did not have the energy, and emotionally, I didn’t have the desire. I barely had the energy to get through the day, much less exercise. Without sleep, I felt stuck in a hamster wheel of grief. It wasn’t until I began sleeping better that I was able to begin exercising. Sleep helped give me the energy to start running in my hills again.
There is something about running in the hills near our home, feeling the crunch of the dirt beneath my feet, the sun on my face, hearing the wind blow through the cottonwood leaves, the birds singing, the cattle mooing… It is not just exercise for me. It is worship. It is peace. It is healing. This is my God therapy. I pray and I listen, I sing and I cry. It is time to be alone with my God.
I have four children, four children who I am blessed to have stay home with me each and every day. But having them home offers very little time alone. So this time in the hills has been essential in my healing. Three mornings a week, I lace up my running shoes, grab my dog, and run.
I truly believe there is healing in being outside. Anne Frank says this, “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”