I had a couple of hours yesterday outside. The dandelions were not happy with me for that, but the birds seemed content, and the sun was bright and a few plants got tended. None of us spend enough outdoors and there are so many benefits to being outdoors even if your surroundings are not nature-filled. The air flows happen even in cities, and the sunlight or diffuse light through clouds is healing. Even the dark storm-tossed days create a cleansing for the soul and the mind.
This is the core of biophilia (see inset below) which seeks to connect nature and the built environment through analogs, views and experiential means.
Patterns that have Fibonacci repetitions, and fractal arrangements that mimic sunlight on water or through tree cover can change our physiological responses in that moment. Inclusion of art representing nature along with actual water features and moving air remind us we are nature and interdependent with it. Places of shelter to view “risk” (balconies, for example) and experiences that mimic walking within nature such as stepping-stones make us pace ourselves with more thought. Even the slightest view to outside can make a space healthier for every occupant.
There is a movement afoot to get us outside a bit more. Called the 30 x 30 Challenge, it is a pledge to get outside for 30 minutes a day for the full month of May. It is significant to me that even I had to plan and adjust my efforts to get outside one or two days last year, and I am the sort of person that will drink a cup of coffee on my front porch while cocooned in a blanket, just to not be indoors. Register for the challenge (there is no penance if you can’t achieve 1/2 hour every day for the full month – the effort is the real goal) and see if you can increase your connectivity.
This outdoor time may come, as it did for me yesterday, in the form of chores, such as hanging up the sheets and weeding out some dandelions. My handy-dandy little dandelion weeder works great! No chemicals, and using it makes me stretch and bend and aerates my minuscule lawn so it is healthier. And I get to feed the greens to our bearded dragon. Oh, how the healthy cycles benefit each other and turn and turn…