Today I have a little lesson for you. It's something I had to remind myself about yesterday. This lesson is about enjoying nature. I write this blog partially because of nature. I use nature to help myself relax. Recently I've had a problem with all of this though.
This problem hasn't been a big one. It's just something that began to creep up on me. As soon as I noticed, I had to stop it before it ever became something for me to be very concerned about. What was the problem? I wasn't letting myself relax while I was looking at nature.
If you just let it happen, you'll relax just by walking in the forest. I had been forgetting to let that happen. I routinely go out to a few nature parks and take pictures of anything I like. As I take my pictures, I enjoy my surroundings and let my stress from the day melt away. This hasn't been happening quite as much lately though.
I've actually been taking more pictures than ever, but I've found myself going for only the pictures. I began to realize that I've been stalking the creatures of the forest like a cat. I did this for the pictures. This method actually works pretty well, but not when you go into predator mode as soon as you get to the nature preserve.
I've been noticing this more and more over the past week. You know what my results were? Places where I used to hear the sounds of life all around me were now very quiet. The animals had started to hide from me. They knew I was hunting them.
I was also ignoring all of the beauty around me. The main thing that mattered was what I could shoot with my camera. With nothing to shoot at, nature was becoming frustrating for me. Then even my abilities with the camera began to suffer. I was even becoming a little angry with my failure to get any results.
Yesterday right in the middle of a hike, with no animals anywhere in sight, I stopped and realized what I was doing. I mean it! I literally stopped right there. I reminded myself why I was really out there. I didn't care if I got any pictures at all. I was out there to enjoy the beauty of nature, and to let myself relax. You know, it worked!
I looked at my surroundings for the first time in awhile. I had almost forgotten the beauty of the forest. I have always loved this place. The forest is like my own fortress of solitude. It's my place to hide from the rest of the world. It brings peace to my mind when I'm there. That peace was now back!
As this happened I noticed something else too. The animals came back! They had been as tense as I was. They had been waiting to see what this hunter was going to do to them. Now they were welcoming back a long lost family member. With all of this renewed happiness, I decided to stay out there for much longer than usual.
I stayed out on my trails most of the day. I decided to forget everything else for that time. As a result, I was physically exhausted when I got home. This was actually a very good thing. I did let a few things go though. For instance, this blog had to wait for just a little while. I like to answer all of the comments here, but I haven't done that yet. I haven't visited anyone else yet. I also write these posts in the evening, but I'm writing this one the in the next morning right when I usually schedule it to show up.
This was temporary. I won't back off from anything here. I'll only be remembering the real reason I like doing this. This is to help me relax. For anyone else, let this be a lesson for you too. Don't forget to relax. Don't let this become a tedious job. Have fun while you're visiting nature, however you do it. That's all.