A look at our bountiful earth and all she provides.
What do we mean by nature? The word is derived from the Latin, Natura. It means natural, anything not made by mankind. It encompasses the stars, the sky, the very earth we walk upon. Animals, birds, trees and plants, mountains, rivers and oceans are all nature. As far as anyone knows, Earth is the only planet to support life.This amazing fact makes even the most sceptical amongst us wonder if a greater being had a hand in providing us with such an abundance.
What are the benefits of Nature to humans? Nature is an integral part of mankind. Humans are but a tiny part of the animal kingdom. Nature is and has always been, an inspiration to poets, painters, writers and philosophers. It is in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the sun we soak in, the birds, the moon and stars. We humans try to conquer the mighty oceans and the highest mountains, sometimes Mother Nature let’s us think we can succeed, and then she shows us who’s in control.
What are we doing to our natural environment? For centuries nature has absorbed our destruction of the planet, but the earth has reached a critical stage. There is no undoing what’s already done, no turning back. We humans have forgotten our responsibility to the world through greed and selfishness. How can we enable it to remain healthy and alive? We must stop the deforestation of our rain forests, polluting the oceans with plastic waste, and turning even the air we breathe toxic with pollution from our factories. Unless we learn the lesson now, we will have nothing left. Our animals are disappearing at a faster rate than ever before, climates are changing, the temperature of our precious home is rising. We are losing the icecaps, causing the oceans to rise.
The year 2020 will go down in history for many reasons. There was a tiny moment when nature took a breather. Tourists stopped travelling, enabling the rivers and air to cleanse. Roads emptied of cars and trucks. For once we were able to hear the sounds of nature instead of roaring traffic as people were forced to stay home. It was then we yearned to be outside, look at what nature has to offer, fresh air, flowers, birds and insects. We had time to appreciate our abundance. Children rode bikes in the parks, families became more cohesive. Instead of flying to far-flung places, we explored our own backyards and appreciated what’s always been there but had failed to see.
How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to make people say they feel healthy and have a strong sense of well-being? 120 minutes, according to a team of researchers led by Mathew White of the European Center for Environment and Human Health at the University of Exeter. Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning. It’s an antidote for stress, can lower blood pressure and enhance the immune system function. It reduces anxiety and lowers aggression.
I am optimistic that I’m leaving the world in excellent hands. Nature has taken a front seat, she is demanding to be taken care of. She has shown what she can do if we don’t start taking responsibility for our beautiful planet. Fires, floods and diseases are just a few things in her armoury. So come on everyone, let’s all do what we can to show our appreciation of nature before it’s too late.