Find motivation and share hope
Great things happen when I get out into nature, from a mental standpoint. There is a part of my brain that holds answers, insights, and creative ideas, and within that part of my brain is a treasure chest with a lock on it. The key to unlocking this particular box is found in nature.
Perhaps it’s the connection I find between the forests I walk and the stories I’ve read. J.R.R. Tolkien has been one of the biggest literary inspirations in life because of four books: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These stories take you from the well-tended garden beds of the Shire to the desolate wastelands of Mordor, and everything in between. Through these stories, I have imagined the very landscapes I live near but enhanced. Therefore, one connecting point to nature is my connection to these stories.
Perhaps it’s the sensory sensations that come along with the feeling of being immersed in nature. It’s the smell of the trees, shrubs, flowers, and all other flora that bring healing through a deep inhale. It’s the sounds of the leaves, pine needles, rocks, and dirt crunching underfoot; and the trees quaking as the wind blows. It’s the feeling of that same wind pressing against me as I stand on the edge of a rock shelf, rushing over me to remind me that life is constantly moving.
There are sights of dense forest to sprawling mountaintop views. In the denseness of the forest, I become aware that I am entering into the territory of the wild. This place belongs to the creatures and the vegetation. As I take the final steps to the peak of the rock formations, I become aware of the grandness of the world as I realize how small I am.
What I have realized the most during this turbulent time for our world due to the COVID-19 outbreak is that all are not able to find this escape like I am. I realize that I live a privileged life, and I am blessed to have been led to this beautiful little town in the mountains so long ago. In my first 12 years of life, I was a city boy living in Lakewood, California, and though I spent a great amount of time outside, the forest and the mountains were not a part of my life. This time of physical distancing and stay at home orders is much different for those in city living, and to you, I would encourage you to find any little joy that sparks inspiration inside.
The forest and the mountains are where I live, and that is where I have learned to love. What can you learn to love? For any of you out there that are truly suffering during this time, hold on to hope, because hope will not disappoint if we cling to it. If you find yourself in a place like me where this time can turn into a blessing rather than a curse, let us together look for ways to bring hope to the hopeless.
A walk in the woods is a renewing escape for me, that gives me the motivation to carry on. If that is not an option for you, find another way that motivates you to carry on, do not invest in that which can bring you down. There are beautiful stories out there that can help us see our reality as something greater than it is. Look for stories that inspire and awaken your soul. Find some activity that awakens your soul.
We will make it through this life together if we commit to being bringers of hope.