The Gift of Nature

Feeling the call to nature is sublime enjoyment for me at this time of year. The fall season is especially vibrant and often many people’s favorite.

A few minutes ago I stopped to watch the squirrels scamper on our lawn, then chase each other, crossing into the neighbor’s yard. Next, my attention was caught by a pale yellow butterfly gracefully landing on the tall dry grasses - like an exclamation point announcing the true end of summer. Cardinals flitted from tree to tree, then one came past me and sat for a time on our leafless apple tree, radiating redness.

I was excited to see a recent Guardian article (abbreviated link below) titled “Scottish GPs to begin prescribing rambling and birdwatching.” NHS Shetland has now authorized 10 GPs to prescribe nature for patients with mental illness, heart disease, stress, diabetes and other chronic conditions. These prescriptions will be a complement to their traditional care.

The article states: “Patients will be nudged to go hill walking on Shetland’s upland moors, and directed towards coastal paths to watch fulmars, to beachcomb for shells, draw snowdrops in February, and spot long-tailed ducks, oystercatchers and lapwings.”

I encourage anyone, no matter their level of health, to answer your call to nature this fall!