- Biological Communication: Plants communicate, not only with other plants, but also with humans. One of the primary vehicles is by using chemical substances, some known as terpenes, to send messages of threatening pests with details of the type of pest and results of the damage done. Plant immune systems receive these messages and adapt accordingly to protect themselves, and don’t stop here. As we, humans, enter these hotbeds of communication, our own immune systems receive these signals, boosting the effectiveness, and actually increasing our own defenses through numbers and activity
- The Unconscious Mind: Our reptilian brains bring forward experiences of our ancestors from over thousands of years. These generational patterns dictate how we respond to certain situations, resulting in reactions ranging from feeling relaxed to fight-or-flight mode. Birds happily singing above us have never really posed much of a threat and, as such, invite a friendly and happy mood. Bushes filled with berries are a sign of nourishment, which in turn might make us feel happy and pleasant. Flowers elicit similar feelings and, surprisingly, indicate food is nearby. Our ancestors used trees as protection and safety for eating and sleeping; being in similar surroundings today will most likely make us feel secure.
- Fascination: Humans have two forms of attention – directed and fascination.The first is the one required day-to-day at work or school while we study, read, or drive from point a to b. We eventually pay the price when using directed attention, expending precious energy that can ultimately be quite exhausting and stressful.The second, fascination, requires no energy, is automatic, and actually offers up a recharge for our minds and hearts. Nature is full of things that fascinate; from giant leaves, to granite walls towering thousands of feet up into the air, to waterfalls that seem to drop forever into the most brilliant rainbow.
Arvay captures many more reasons why we feel the way we do while outdoors, so check out his book. But, before you do, get out and connect with all that lives and thrives along the trail. Breathe their precious gift of air. Feel nature’s vibrations as well as the thoughts and experiences of your family from years past. Finally be in tune with all that brings wonder and fascination.