Being in nature is naturally positive, it creates space in the mind and has many physical benefits as well.
Many people found that getting out into nature helped them hugely during the lockdown periods, tending gardens, growing veg. Lots of people discovered that they had time to really connect with nature, perhaps for the first time in many years. This gave them a sense of space and perspective.
Some people also took on personal projects to care for a green space, a garden or area, and as a result saw a corresponding improvement in their mental wellbeing. During the pandemic we have been very aware of our impact as humans on the natural world, and so by caring for nature on a personal level it feels like a way to give back rather than take, and to reconnect or start to make some amends.
Taking care of our natural world and the beings we share it with gives us something positive to do and something to care for. Especially at a time when our freedoms have been restricted, when we could not see or spend time with the people we would like to, the energy and desire to nurture and commune needs to be expressed somewhere to avoid feeling sad, lonely, or angry.
Today is actually Love A Tree day, and so to mark that here is a personal account from my very dear Mum who lives many miles away from me down in Devon. She writes about how taking care of a struggling sapling that she found in her local park has helped her to keep positive during the lonely months of the lockdown.
The Lockdown Tree
I call it The Lockdown Tree because I got to know it during the first Lockdown. It helped me survive the isolation from family and friends. It needed help and I could help it – and so we helped each other.
It had been planted by volunteers at the edge of a row of nut trees but unlike its peers, it was neglected and almost overwhelmed by creepers, nettles, and brambles. But it was determined and had managed to push a branch out with a few leaves visible.
Walking for exercise one day I noticed it, and realised I could help. So the next months – armed with scissors and gloves – were spent clearing all around the little tree and pulling up the nettles that separated it from its nearest neighbour tree.
It grew and grew and then one day I saw a bird resting on one of its branches. Wonderful. It gave me hope.
So to the end of the story so far. Two days ago (14months from the start of of the lockdowns) I went to visit the tree and saw that the man who cuts the grass in the park had carefully cut the grass all around the thickening trunk and between it and its neighbour! It belonged at last. It was happy, I could tell.
I will continue to walk there and talk to the tree as I did all those bleak months. I say Thank You to the tree.
And I believe it says Thank You to me.