For the love of nature

For the love of nature

Beth Collier speaks to four black women about their love of nature

One of life’s simple pleasures. The enjoyment of nature and our natural heritage. A source of positive energy, helping to nurture a sense of self and place in the wider world. Nature plays many roles in our lives and helps these women to improve their working relationships, self care, social relationships and meditative practice

xx, Nurse, East London

What do you love about nature?

I think for me it’s just kind of connecting, seeing something bigger than ourselves. I’ve tried to see my life within a bigger context, so I’m looking a lot and being more introspective. It gives me room for reflection in a way that I didn’t realise that I didn’t have that space as I journal a lot, I try and take walks regularly but within the city, so I like to get lost walking along the South Bank, but I didn’t realise that actually it’s a different type of reflection when you get out into these open spaces. So for me know that;s what I’m getting from being out in nature, it’s got me to question a lot of my relationships with people as well connecting on a deeper level. At work as well how to bring more meaning to my work which I always thought I had a lot of meaning from my work, I work as a nurse in different specialities – intensive care, in the community, with really vulnerable people, but it’s different now. I feel that the last few weeks have made me see it all in a different light.

How do you feel when you’re in these spaces?

I feel calm, grounded very reflective. It makes me in awe of nature as well. I feel grateful that’s something I feel very grateful to have the chance to experience the world as it is. Learning to be present and accepting life as it is, that’s one thing I used to struggle with, being able to sit down and meditate. I’m very much always on the go.

As we sit here now, how does nature make you feel. We’re sat in a beautiful meadow, lined by trees. What are the emotions that this evokes?

Calmness, acceptance of myself. I feel that I dont have to feel anyting its such an amazing feeling there is all this stress and anxiety and 100 things that I have to do. And now I’m not even thinking about any of that, right now it’s just about being present and grateful.

What role does nature have in your life now?

I think I see it everywhere now in a way that I didn’t before. I went to Ikea a couple of days ago and there was a tiny canal, I would never have noticed before. It’s a very urban area next to a motor way, I would have just got off the train and gone to straight to Ikea before whereas now I’m trying to look at the wild flowers at the side of the road. I’m just stopping and taking it all in. Yesterday I went to the gym and on the way I go through a park and normally I just go through to the gym but yesterday I sat down under a tree and meditated for 10 minutes and just kind of took it in. Just allowed myself to absorb that and I think for me that’s what I take from it now, wherever I am nature is there and I can stop what I’m doing whether to run errands somewhere and take 5 minutes to enjoy it even within a busy city like London.