By Cheri Stringer
Why do natural spaces hold such wonder and captivation? Aside from the sheer beauty and peace in the experience, there is something intangible that happens within our mind and body as we move through natural spaces. On every trek into the outdoors, I find myself slowly reminded of the simple things in life: my heartbeat, my breathing, the feel of wind on my face, the smell of the soil, the trees, the mountains…Suddenly I am experiencing rather than judging. There is no need for analyzing or decision-making, the only decision being to experience. In my experiences with nature, the most powerful is the essence of the trees and water. Imagine and experience the essence of a forest. The healing power of these natural spaces is inherent in the experience itself. But there is more to it.
In the book The Healing Code of Nature, Clemens G. Arvay shares scientific evidence for this elusive element of healing provided by nature. One example describes how hospitalized patients heal faster with less pain medication when they are afforded a tree view. It makes me ponder my experiences in nature, how even three days backpacking in the wild backcountry through the forest has the power to completely erase my stress, worry, and everyday pressures to achieve. It grounds me, and I feel fulfilled and happy simply making a campfire meal of three ingredients in a pan over the fire. Peace is felt and experienced in this space. It inspires me to bring this feeling, this experience to my work.
I create outdoor environments. In these environments, I seek to create spaces in which my clients can experience the peace, joy, and connection right outside their back door, connected to their homes. Creating an outdoor environment often requires all my senses, skills, knowledge, and more, as well as a talented team working with me to emulate this feeling. But it is even more than that; This feeling is also tied to the same healing I feel and experience when I trek through nature to a mountain alpine lake and spend time being present. My intention is to share the healing power of nature with everyone so that they may experience on a daily basis this peace and joy of something bigger than us, of meaning and beauty.