Last week, as part of Laois Connects – Mental Health Awareness Campaign, I had the pleasure of being invited to the wonderful Abbeyleix Bog Project in county Laois to facilitate a group talk on ‘What is Nature?’ Although, we are in late autumn – the day was beautiful and the participants present were in no mood for sitting indoors. Within seconds it became very apparent that the only item on our agenda was to decide how quickly we could get outdoors for a walk and we all agreed that if we gave ourselves 15 minutes of discussion indoors we could get out into the wonderful afternoon sunlight for a decent walk and talk on the bog.
The energy of the participants and their desire not to waste a moment of the October evening was infectious. As the bog soaked up our chatter, our busyness and any fatigue that may have been lurking unbeknown to us within – we became alive and rejuvenated in the comforting hold of the natural space. I suppose, we became closer to being ‘our authentic selves’. Stories were shared and plenty of humour was present as we noticed how nature was preparing itself for the winter to come – a process which generally led us to check in with ourselves and become more aware of our own levels of wellbeing.
Sometimes it’s a challenge to find the words to describe nature…. but ask anybody in Abbeyleix and they are sure to send you in the direction of the welcoming bog at the end of their town, a bog which teams with life and has all the health and wellness we could ever need.
And all we have to do is give ourselves permission.