Connecting With Nature In NYC

winter trees

It’s no secret. I live in the concrete jungle (a.k.a NYC).  Thankfully, however, I live in a relatively quiet, peaceful neighborhood in Brooklyn close to a large park and the bay.  Large beautiful houses, beautiful  gardens and the peaceful plant giants line the more posh streets of where I live. In warmer weather,  I can hear crickets at night.  They play music to my ears.  In my mind’s eye, I see stars and streaks of green light when I hear them and feel something  majestic and celestial.  Their sound surrounds me in 3-D, soothing my soul.

I have made it my goal to connect with nature as regularly as possible, even, while living in the most urban place in the USA. You see, I recently realized, that in spite of my passion for living in loving interconnectedness with the planet. I still know very little about nature and may be just as disconnected with it as many of us are.  It’s easy  to get lost in the fast pace and concerns of NYC life.  For me, I can get lost in financial survival, tight schedule logistics and other practical measures.  That said, I have decided to repair that broken bridge between myself and nature, realizing it to be essential to my own well-being and also to what I am passionate about sharing with others: creating our lives in harmony with the Earth.

Some of the simple things I do to connect with nature is to feel the breeze on my skin, look at people’s gardens, the river and trees.  Let me pause a second— the trees are like gentle giants of the plant kingdom.  I never tire of looking at them.  One look, and immediately, a peace reflected in their stillness befalls me.  My mind becomes calmer, my heart beats more slowly and my body relaxes.  It is the most awesome thing.  If I listen more deeply I feel something about them, from the quiet space inside me, that wordlessly tells me their purpose, their strength and their preciousness.

Now that it is colder and I no longer hear the crickets, I listen to what the sounds of autumn are- a dry, whispering crackle of wind through leaves.  It is a near seductive sound– sexy, smokey and ripe.  I think of pears, apples, root vegetables and deep, warming spices.  Twilight’s lapis blue descends earlier, making it all the more mysterious .

With all of this autumn splendor, why am I not outside much as of late?  My excuse– I get don’t like the colder and shorter days.  Well, that just settles it– autumn walk, here I come. . . .

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7 responses to “Connecting With Nature In NYC

  1. Beautiful post, Erin! I especially love the part about the trees. I was just reflecting on their quiet beauty myself.

    Also, I think there is a certain magic in not necessarily “knowing” a lot about nature, but still taking the time to appreciate it. Although it’s fascinating to learn things, I love the mystery and awe that comes with just wondering about the unknown. 🙂

    • Hi Laura. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment! That is such a poignant thing you say about the “awe that comes with just wondering about the unknown.” I like to listen to nature and drop everything I know (which isn’t much 😉 and see what I feel or what it wishes to tell me. I guess there is so much that can be learning just be being nature and quiet observation.

  2. why do I feel sadness for a person who loves nature as much as you do? . . . nature in NY? If you were my daughter I would come and rescue you to the hills of southern ohio . . . 🙂

    • That’s so sweet, JJ. I had been indecisive for years about the possibility of leaving NYC. On one hand, the super urbanness and serious reduction in nature has been a serious downside for me and increasingly so. On the other hand, I loved and continue to love, the variety of restaurants, stores and events/classes that cater to my healthy life-style. Plus, there is a market here for ANY passion one may want to make a living at. As my own life purpose and sense of who I am clarifies, I have finally arrived at a decision that I would like to leave in the next year or two. Now I am just decided where and clarifying some sort general plan. I would like to live somewhere near a progressive town or city, but be in a more conutryish setting– best of both worlds. My mother is moving to California after retirement (2 years from now). I may just follow suit. Anyway, thanks again for your comment!!

      • wherever you go (I’m a retire builder) do a thorough area search as to mineral deposits and leases and stuff like that. . . nothing worse than settling into a new paradise and having the oil/coal/gas co move in. . .. go to Alaska, I lived there for 7 years . . . ten steps off a road and you are in the wilderness. . .

        I have a son who works at CBS, he has an apartment by central park and he likes it. . . . so I guess it depends on what you want . . . me? I have about 6 houses in this whole valley and that’s too many . . 🙂 . . . . good luck . . .

      • That’s interesting about the mineral deposits and leases. Do you mean to say that someone could be drilling or fracking near your property? I would love to visit Alaska(during the summer). Don’t think the cold weather would suit me, but the vastness of the wilderness does sound incredible. . . . .You must have seen some spectacular northern lights.

      • I live in south east Ohio now . . . the fracking capitol of the US . . . I am not a happy camper, but at 71 I am tired of moving around so . . . my small valley is OK so far though . . .

        Ak is a wonderful place to live in the winter . . . I cannot describe the beauty of the northern lights in winter . . .

        If you move be careful (like I said before) things are changing fast in this country. . . take care

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