Immersing yourself in nature during the morning awakens the senses. It lets you hear songs, sounds and ideas from the birds around you. The hush of the breeze, the notes of people’s voices or running water. It’s good to hear days beginning.
Dog walkers will be familiar with a fresh start to their day, but there’s much more to gain when you spend a bit longer exploring and connecting with nature.
Along with the multitude of physical and mental health benefits ~ Being in nature can help stimulate and restore that Resourceful aspect of our thinking. When you step into the woods, surrounded by a huge variety of trees, branches, leaves and foliage. Just think of how many things in your home are made from wood? Humans have worked with materials found in nature for hundreds of thousands of years.
Here’s a simple example of natural, resourceful awareness. Have you used a broom or a brush recently?
Think of the original design process ~ Picking up a bunch of twigs or small branches…. Sweeping leaves with the firmly held bundle.
A fairly timeless example of how we naturally interact with our surroundings. Refining and developing ways to make our lives better. Thousands of iterations later we’re still effectively using a firm bunch of fibres or bristles as a brush. A very useful technology. A logical step, when you experience it.
As we interact with nature, ideas start flowing. Picking up a long, satisfying branch. Thinking…‘this would make a great Stick !?’ As you begin peeling off strips of bark with a pocket knife, more possibilities come to mind. Making a carved staff; a bow; hooks or handles; the rung of a rope ladder or a child’s swing seat, when wood is strong enough. Even one of those magical wee spoons seen on Instagram in recent years!
Thoughts and ideas. Designing and making furniture…and so much more. Yes, it’s all there waiting for you when you connect and interact. The familiar sense of resourceful, creative thinking really stands out. Perhaps you’ve crafted with nature for a while? Or in childhood? You essentially pick up where you left off - naturally.
So let’s dispel one common mis-perception or modern myth: that any of this stuff is somehow only for a particular sort of person. Deconstructive phrases like fluffy, wooly (or going back further hippy ) stuff? Nope. Making things in and with nature, to live a better life is how we got to this point. Something that unites us all. Where we’ve come from. Where we all go back to. Forget words or perceptions that limit.
We evolved in nature over millions of years. We trust it and depend on it for our survival. The disconnect or time spent without it poignantly in our lives, is a recent phenomenon in human history. It’s understandable though, how getting back in touch with our natural environment can seem alien or ‘for someone else’. Especially as population migration into, and the development of, Cities is such a considerable trajectory. But we can find balance, reconnecting with green spaces. Prioritising our relationship with nature. Allowing that playful interaction to happen.
You may not be a practising Architect - but consider the feelings, and thoughts that come to mind when you start contemplating building your own home. How an exhilarating walk in a tall forest brings vision ~ Feasibility. Not just fantasy.
Resourceful, productive and fresh interaction can support and inspire many other areas of creative work and innovation. When you spend half an hour walking in your local park before starting work at your desk, you’ve already gained a multitude of benefits. Positive impacts for your health, wellbeing, awareness and mind focus. Paying a little additional focus on resourcefulness promotes this further benefit.
They say ‘use it or lose it’. Well, when considering local natural environments - it makes perfect sense we are encouraged to use our local parks and green spaces. Improving accessibility and awareness of those spaces. Enhancing and creating more of them. The positive impacts on our lives, ourselves and our planet are priceless.
Is it good to share a post from nature? Of course! And Millions of us do. No longer the preserve of National Geographic. However, when you substitute the urge to take / share a photo, with a more a personal, physical interaction with nature… who knows what you’ll Create!
(If you enjoyed this post, do feel free to share. Unless of course you’re deep in the woods! )
Workshop host and facilitator Justin Eade spent much of his formative years exploring and crafting in nature. Building treehouses; toys and instruments, and embodying a resourceful approach to being outdoors. He combines his love of nature and creativity with deep experience in mind body, complementary health practices. Collaborating with others to produce dynamic outdoor workshops.