Most of the time, it’s a rocking motion under my boots that gives me pause, an undulation, like I’m walking on the crests of an easy-going ocean. They are the remnants of some tenant farmer’s back 40 acres of corn, or some homesteader’s patch of long-gone beans or cotton or tobacco, now grown up in soaring pines and oaks and gums.
But early and late in the day, when shadows pool in the bottoms of those old, forgotten furrows, they are as plain as day.
What can be more relaxing and stress-free than a cup of warm herbal tea with fresh honey on the porch of a cozy wooden country house with a view of a small natural lake, or green forest, or beautiful mountains?
It is the cheapest, simplest, and most accessible treatment one can think of.
Nature is about balance and harmony—what we lack when we live inside the swirling pit of urbanized cities.
Sometimes we escape, but so rarely and so abruptly, that such escapades can hardly help us reestablish our link with nature.Follow it uphill, and you might find a homestead oak.In an open farmstead yard, oak trees spread branches out on all sides, low to the ground, and they’re easy to spot in younger, tangled woods.Walking the woods, I sense the ground pitch and swell, and I know it in my bones: Someone worked a mule through here. In the quiet, I imagine the creak of a leather trace, the clink of a dinner plate, the sigh of a man whose hard day in the fields will mark the land long after he’s gone.Despite the technological advances and scientific inventions that make us believe we have nothing in common with the rest of the animal kingdom, we are still part of the planet’s fauna, whether we realize it or not.However, the links we have with nature cannot disappear.There are a number of key reasons in favor of the concept that people should try to connect with nature more than they do today.Outside of the Smokies, nearly every North Carolina forest, woodlot, and patch of big oaks has been timbered, plowed, grazed, grown over, cut, forgotten, and grown up, time and time and sometimes time again.Old fields turn to grassy meadows, meadows to pines, pines to gnarly mixed woods of shortleaf and maple, all maturing to hardwoods of oak and beech and hickory.Cedars growing in a straight line are a can’t-miss clue: The birds that sat on a long-vanished fence dropped cedar seeds in their scats. A stand of multiflora rose could mark an old vegetable garden hedgerow.Look carefully at the base of big trees for the glint of an old Mason jar, or the shard of a broken dinner plate brought up from the soil like a shell tumbled to the beach.