B's Blogs August 19, 2020

Nature’s Lessons

My family and I moved into our second home 3 months ago in NW Montana.  When I arrived, I was exhausted, and frustrated due to Covid’s impact on my life.  My husband, two french bulldogs (Doug and Leon), and I had spent 20+ hours in our truck hauling a trailer to get to our home.  Needless to say, we were a hot mess upon arrival.  

Hello Nature

Upon existing the truck, nature welcomed me.  The smell and height of the pine trees.  The air was cool, and the sky was clear.  My home sits on top of a mountain with a lake at the base of it.  Walking down the mountain to the lake awakened several muscles, and the pine cones crunching under my feet perked my ears.  The deer wondered freely, and enjoyed munching on grasses.  My new landscape was a sensory explosion. The connection I had with nature felt innate, and important.  Something I hadn’t felt in a long time.  Over the next few months, I adapted to sitting for long periods of time observing the changing colors of the sky, and floating clouds.  The soundtrack playing in the background: birds, boats on the lake, crashing waves, and voices from the lake.  Each morning while walking the dogs; deer happily enjoyed foraging on the side of the mountain.  As a result of this experience, it’s made me reflect on nature’s gifts, and how I can use them in my life, as well as give back to them.


Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Less is more

Only consume what you need.  It’s easy nowadays to purchase more than we need.  Everything we purchase leaves an imprint on nature.  I’ve enjoyed having only a few clothing items to choose from each day, the option to go outside and meditate or walk between appointments (instead of being distracted by TV or my phone), and not being distracted by lots noise.

Respect nature

There are so many things all of us can do to respect nature.  I will name a few based on my experiences.  When driving in an area home to wildlife, slow down!  The deer roam freely, and are in the roads. Be mindful on trails and walk with someone in a single lane file versus next to each other.  Deterioration happens quickly.  If you see liter, pick it up! Doesn’t matter who littered, give back to nature by removing it.  The last thing I will mention is to protect our trees.  If you take a tree down, put a new one in.  We need them to breathe.  


The virtue of transcendence, and the strength aligned to it is appreciation for beauty & excellence (ABE).  ABE means “to notice and appreciate beauty, excellence and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.”  According to VIA Character Strengths, research has shown when this strength is leading happiness is boosted, depression is lowered in the short term & possibly beyond.   And I have to say- this is definitely true of my experience in nature.  Prior to living in Montana, ABE wasn’t my top strength, it was a middle strength (expressed situationally).  So it is no joke the influence our environment has on us. 


Yes- another strength in the VIA Character Strengths system. My walks below the tall trees, jumping into the cool lake, the sunsets, and sunrises- all of it brought back the importance of a daily gratitude practice. Saying everyday what I am & who I am thankful for is supporting my overall wellbeing.

I hope you are inspired to spend time in nature, and give to it what it gives to you. Please share my blog post if you find them helpful, and enjoyable.

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