Nature is fascinating. It has millions of years of wisdom that it leans on for the survival of its creations. When everything works in harmony, you can see the forces of Nature at their finest. Winds blow at just the right speeds to send seeds to new areas for plantings. The sun shines at just the right angles and temperatures to help all living beings grow to their potential. Water from the skies and the seas nourish and hydrate the earth so that plants and the living beings that depend on those plants can continue their journeys on our planet.

But Nature has a depth of wisdom that goes beyond the visible. From the earliest of civilizations, people have learned to live off of the land. After all, Nature provides. They learned to gather and then grow food, cook meals, build shelters and create medicines, all from the bounty of Nature.

Over five thousand years ago, the Sumerians created the first written record of medicinal plants on clay tablets. Thousands of years later, the Ancient Egyptians compiled a list of 850 herbal medicines. Around the same time, the Chinese Emperor, Chi’en Nung, listed hundreds of natural healing treatments in his book Pen Tsao. These early civilizations from ancient Mesopotamia to Asia and throughout the world, studied Nature and understood its wisdom.

Today, there are websites and books dedicated to these early treatments. For example, willow bark–a precursor to aspirin–used for pain relief and turmeric–used to heal wounds, can be learned about just by opening a book. But early civilizations did not have that advantage. Nature infused some of its greatest healing remedies in everyday-looking plants, just waiting to be discovered. Early people found these cures and treatments by immersing themselves in Nature, and sometimes by trial and error. While today there is an ease of information at our fingertips, we lose out on that true connection with Nature: the unmistakable learning tool that we might take for granted by quickly gathering our information on the internet.

So while we benefit from the teachings of those that came before us, mend the connection between yourself and the greatest of all teachers–Nature. Put your phone away and take an uninterrupted walk in Nature. Notice its beauty. Look at how plants grow–ridged leaves, waxy leaves, fruits with many sections and filaments, and many other nuances. Look deeper to understand how Nature nourishes each one of its creations to help protect it from predators, grow and flourish, and provide shelters for other living beings. Nature is magnificent, as is what we can learn by immersing ourselves within it.

 

Nature, TCM

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