Dr. Amy Wagenfeld: Nurture through Nature: Going to Nature Part Two

Nurture through Nature: Going to Nature Part Two

In the second of this three part series about place attachments, we learn about how water and also walking in nature along that most special trail can be profoundly meaningful.

Water is, for many, a life force. Joan explained “that place is the Hudson River at its widest point, at the Mario Cuomo Bridge (formerly, the Tappan Zee Bridge).  Preferably, on a sailboat! Meaningful because it reminds me of some of the most blissful times in my life, sailing on the Hudson and living aboard a sailboat in the Hudson for 3 months. I am in my happy place when I am on the water.” 

Nature image

Lee shared, “This (place) is St. Moritz pond in the Blue Hills. It’s one of my favorite spots there. It is quiet and serene - makes me feel more grounded.” 

Nature image

Sharon reflected that, “walking barefoot on the beach, especially at low tide, gives me a chance to reset my energy and my focus.  I love to look at the waves, at the designs on beach left by the tides, and at the glimmering rocks worn down by being tossed around so much.

Nature image

Guilia shared, “a special and significant place for me is the sea. The view and sound of the sea make me feel light and safe. I was born on an island and the sea is something that becomes part of your soul and that you need in every place you go and travel around. At the end, in every place you can be, when you see the sea and its blue you feel like at home and this is one of the best feelings you can perceive.”

Nature image

Bill also finds comfort and place in water. He shared, “living in South Florida by the water has its benefits, one of which is being able to take a long walk in the morning to get my head and the rest of me going in the right direction. Putting one’s self on the right path mentally helps in overcoming the annoying obstacles of daily life.  Knowing that, whatever happens, the sun will rise again 24 hours later.  The water is usually quite calm, and calming, and the sun rises can be spectacular.”

Nature image

Caitlin, in thinking about her place determined that “there are several places in nature where I feel peace, calm, and joy. However, a sunset on the beach seems to be the overarching winner. The beach has always reminded me of times when my family--both immediate and extended--would gather for a week or so at a time, unplug from all other responsibilities, and just enjoy each other's company. These trips are some of my greatest memories, and always leave me feeling refreshed to overcome whatever obstacles are waiting for me at home (with workload, school, etc.). This photo, specifically, was taken at Marco Island, a few years back. After what I would identify as my hardest semester of college, in every aspect, my best friend and I impulsively bought cheap plane tickets and left after finals for a few days on the beach. We still talk often about how badly we needed those days away, and how restorative that trip was moving forward. Our days were filled with good conversation, and plenty of sunshine while it snowed in Michigan. All of this to say, it is my happy place!” 

Nature image

For Nancy, water is also meaningful, explaining, “the Wellfleet pier at sunset brings me great comfort and emotional encouragement. The water and sky lift my spirits, to which I say, “thank you” again and again.”  

Nature image

And, “sunsets on the lake – are Tracy’s happy place!”

Nature image

A walk in nature! Stacy shared that “the trails near my home are one of the outdoor locations most meaningful to me. I use the trails for my daily runs and during the pandemic have added daily walks with my daughter. The trails are essential to my mental and spiritual well-being as well as my physical health. The daily routine of physical activity in a peaceful location filled with beauty and wildlife rejuvenates me like nothing else.”

Nature image

To all who shared their personal place connections and images of them, thank you so much for doing so. Please note that the images are the property of each contributor and may not be reproduced without permission. For my readers, please take a few moments to share your place attachments! Until next time…