In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, we often find ourselves caught in a whirlwind of constant activity. From the morning rush to beat the traffic to the relentless demands of work, it’s easy to lose sight of the simple yet profound joys of stillness and connection with nature. But after spending nine nights in a tent amidst the rugged beauty of northern New Mexico, I was reminded of the incredible benefits of slowing down, listening to nature, and finding solace in the wild.
The Luxury of Simplicity
It’s funny how the absence of everyday conveniences can make you appreciate them all the more. Running water, a flushing toilet, a climate-controlled house – these are the comforts we often take for granted until they’re no longer at our fingertips. But during those weeks in the wilderness, I learned to savor the simplicity of life in its rawest form.
Chasing Elk in the Mountains
My journey into the mountains of northern New Mexico wasn’t just about escaping the daily grind; it was about immersing myself in nature’s grandeur. Mountains have always had a magnetic pull on me, but this experience was different. It was an opportunity to find true peace and quiet, devoid of the incessant noise that usually fills my days.
Stillness Amidst the Chaos
I’ll be the first to admit that when my ADHD is in full swing, being still is a Herculean task. Something always seems to tug at my attention, yanking me away from the present moment. But amidst those rugged peaks, something miraculous happened – I found my focus. My mind, typically a flurry of activity, became singularly fixated on one thing: finding and observing the elusive elk.
Stepping into Their World
When you venture into the world of wild animals, you quickly realize that you are the visitor in their domain. They are the masters of their terrain, possessing an innate knowledge of escape routes, sleeping areas, feeding spots, and watering holes. They’ve honed these survival skills throughout their lives. And when you step into their world, you must be in tune with your surroundings.
The Challenge of Connection
Approaching within 50 yards of an elk is a feat that requires not just skill but a profound understanding of nature’s intricacies. These creatures have been raised to evade predators their entire lives, and getting close to them is the ultimate test of your abilities. It’s a dance between human and animal, where every step must be deliberate, and every sound must be hushed.
Finding Stillness in Nature
In the midst of this challenge, I discovered that stillness is not just the absence of movement; it’s a state of mind. It’s about quieting the inner turmoil and syncing your rhythm with the natural world. It’s a symphony of senses – the rustling leaves, the whisper of the wind, the subtle shift of a distant creature. It’s a deep connection that can only be forged when you unplug from the modern cacophony and embrace the wild.
The Profound Benefits
So, why should you consider venturing into the great outdoors, even if it’s just for a short escape from the daily grind? Here are some of the profound benefits:
- Stress Relief: Nature has a remarkable ability to soothe the soul. The gentle sounds of the wilderness, the scent of pine in the air, and the awe-inspiring landscapes can all help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Improved Focus: Like me, many struggle with distraction in our hyperconnected world. Spending time in nature can improve concentration and mindfulness, helping you regain control of your attention.
- Reconnection with Simplicity: It’s easy to forget the simple joys of life. Nature reminds us of the beauty in simplicity, the elegance in the everyday, and the luxury of stillness.
- Enhanced Awareness: Immersing yourself in nature sharpens your senses. You become attuned to the subtle nuances of the environment, fostering a deeper sense of connection.
Embrace the Wilderness
In a world that seems to be in perpetual motion, the art of stillness and the beauty of nature provide a sanctuary for the restless soul. Whether you have the opportunity to chase elk in the mountains or simply take a leisurely stroll in a local park, make time to reconnect with the natural world. Embrace the challenge, relish the silence, and discover the profound sense of peace that only nature can offer.
In the end, it’s not just about chasing elk; it’s about chasing moments of clarity and connection, about finding stillness in a world that never stops moving. So, venture outside, unplug, and let nature guide you toward a calmer, more centered self.
Remember, life is not a race; it’s a journey. And sometimes, the best way to move forward is to stand still amidst the beauty of the wild.