Sadie Bingham, MSW, LICSW
  • Nature Proficiency

    I am happy out here. Messy hair, dirty feet and wild water on my skin. Out here with the wild things; this is where I belong.” ~Brooke Hampton

    I went about a decade with nature deficiency. My break occurred throughout my twenties when I was building the foundation of my life. Then something miraculous happened that thrust my husband and me into the great outdoors! What began with a few hikes spurred into a lasting lifestyle. To the point where I didn’t understand why everyone didn’t want to hike up mountains with mosquitos biting you and sweat dripping down your back. Come on people, this is living! Because for us, it was.

    Reconnecting with nature changed the entire trajectory of our lives so that we cannot imagine a life without it.

    In my twenties there were two questions that really annoyed the hell out of me: 1) are you happy & 2) what do you like to do for fun? The reason is that no, I wasn’t really happy despite having everything society told me would make me happy and there was nothing in my life that felt fun. I loved yoga but that wasn’t really fun. I loved reading but I wouldn’t consider that play. I lived for the weekends so that I could pack it full of activities and rush around being busy. Because I wasn’t happy.

    Nature changed all of that. It reminded where I came from. Nature didn’t care about my highly stressful caseload. Nature didn’t care if I sounded smart or how I looked. No, Nature reminded me that there is a huge Universe out there that was thriving without the conflict of man. That left untouched, would flourish and carry on long after I was gone. Nature reminded me that I wasn’t that big of a deal and what a relief that was to know. Nature also only took what she needed. She taught me so many lessons about how I want to live. In sync with the nature of life, not what advertisement or media want me to believe.

    Nature incited play. For some reason, my body would begin climbing massive rocks or up a twisted tree. My body found its way into water (not very long, I am a finicky cat). My mind was content and mesmerized by fire. How amazing this firepit is causing us to finally feel warm!

    Nature stripped me of everything unnecessary and only allowed what was needed.

    Hiking up mountains with a 30-pound pack on your back and the ache of blisters coming on was worth every step. In order to hike, I had to be agile, no step was the same as the last. Backpacking needed all my senses to be awake so that I could hear my surroundings and see where I was going. Not only that, but it was the best bonding session you could ask with your mate. You learn things about each other as you marvel at the beauty around you and your only job is to keep going.

    When you finally get to your destination and become face to face with a pristine lake and the local mountain goats, you know why you journey in this direction.

    Because anything that is difficult will always be worth experiencing. Pulling up to a viewpoint in your car will never reinvigorate your soul the way a hard-earned hike will. And oh, the view! It is a reminder that it doesn’t take much to set your soul on fire. That this world is actually so beautiful when you slow down and see. I didn’t suddenly discover Nature, I believe the Universe lead me back to her. I was always meant to be where the wild things roam because I am wild, fierce, playful, simple, and serene too. We are one and of the same, Nature and I.