As a lover of the outdoors I have learned from nature on many occasions. As I have recently taken some time to think and contemplate what I’ve learned from nature is seems clear that there have been some important lessons taught. Here are just 5 things I’ve learned from nature.
1.) Beauty can be found on even the darkest night
I recently climbed Mount Shasta in a single day ascent on a dark moonless night. The type of moonless darkness that doesn’t allow you to see your hand in from of your face. We started at around midnight and the darkness swallowed up our headlamps easily as we wound our way through the forest, but as we climbed into the alpine and hit the snow the view changed. We stopped to put on our crampons and I looked up the stars above me. At nearly 10,000 feet on a black night the sky was on fire with thousands upon thousands of stars, big and small, each broadcasting their burning light in radiant beauty.
Whatever difficult times we are going through, no matter how distant the moon, or even the sun may feel, there is still beauty to be found if we take the time to look. Finding the beauty in life regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves is really the philosophy behind #makeadventure. From time outdoors, I’ve truly learned from nature that beauty can be found on even the darkest night.
2.) Growth takes vulnerability
The fire season in California is in full swing and is shaping up to be one of the worst seasons in many years, spurred by one of the worst droughts in the last century. High temperatures mixed with exceptionally dry conditions have already resulted in a number of large fires including the El Portal fire in Yosemite that has grown to over 3,500 acres and is now threatening the giant sequoia trees that call the park home.
However destructive forest fires are, and however vulnerable and bare they leave a landscape, new growth almost immediately begins. Despite the destructive force of fires and other natural disasters which have a huge impact on nature, growth immediately begins again. Some plants and trees require a fire to clear a forest before they can begin to grow. Some plants and trees need a fire to allow their seeds to open and germinate. By allowing herself to be vulnerable nature also allows herself a chance at amazing and beautiful new growth. I’ve learned from nature that the times in my life that I am vulnerable and open are the times I am able to welcome positive change and growth in my life.
3.) Being still brings rewards
As someone who loves to push himself I sometimes find it difficult to sit and be still. However, I’ve learned from nature that doing just that can bring some amazing rewards. I have a had the opportunity of seeing countless animals in the woods as I have chosen to be still and soak in the beauty around me. I have been blessed with a clearness of mind and soul as I have allowed nature to cleanse me so to speak.
Yet in society we seem so set on constant distraction and constant sharing of what we want to be heard it can be difficult to actually hear. I have truly learned from nature that when we listen and are still we are rewarded. Rather than seeking to always tell our story and always be the one to speak, I have found that during times when I stop to really listen to what others are saying that I have learned the most.
4.) Even the steepest climbs reach a summit
The higher we climb the thinner the air gets. Each step becomes more and more difficult as our bodies are taxed by the workload of climbing, yet forced to do so on less and less oxygen. Yet despite the difficulty and steepness of any mountain there is always a summit.
This obvious truth says a lot about life, however, and is an important lesson I have learned from nature. Regardless of how difficult life gets, how impossible the next step may seem because of tragedy or trial, there is always a summit. There is always a place at which the grade levels out and we can look back at each and every difficult step and feel how we have grown in strength and resolve. There is always a summit in nature and in life.
5.) There’s no time for negativity
Similar to the idea that vulnerability brings growth, nature teaches that there is no time for negativity. If nature could express herself she may very well say that a huge fire or tornado that destroys so much is an awful and saddening thing. Yet even if she could express feelings of lamentation or negativity, she doesn’t seem to spend any time doing so. After a disaster like a flood, a fire, an earthquake or anything else nature immediately begins growing again. There is no thought to what is done and cannot be undone. There is no negativity in her rebuilding, no scorn or spite for what might have been or what should have been.
I have learned from nature that things happen that are beyond our control yet negative thoughts do nothing to change what has been done or fix what has been destroyed. Instead I have learned from nature that a positive outlook and an observance of what we can change makes all the difference.
What have you learned?
I would love to hear some of the lessons you have learned from nature. Please take a moment to comment below or use the contact tab at the top to send me an email. I would love to hear and learn from you!