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Take Me Outside Day- Not just for children!

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It was an early morning on the 23rd of October 2018; there was frost on the ground, and I rushed to get to my 8:00 am engagement at Atlantic View Elementary. Being so used to city noise and the constant traffic in my Halifax community of schools, I felt strange as I drove down this long, winding road that was a lot quieter than downtown Halifax. We are all part of the same municipality, which is really huge! It was a quiet road and even though I was focused on driving, I started to notice all the beauty that surrounded me and made a mental note to definitely check it out during my break.

Once recess hit, I decided to take a quick walk around the school perimeter and was completely enthralled by all the nature; the water, the orange, yellow and red leaves on the trees, and the squirrels and birds scurrying past me. As I looked around at all these wondrous things, it’s like mother nature herself whispered into my ear through a slight breeze, “spend more time outdoors”. Then it hit me! As adults, our lives are so busy. With all the dozens of commitments and tasks we have to do every day, we miss out on the treasure of nature in our own backyards and we forget that the world is such a beautiful place.

Take Me Outside Day was the day after my engagement, on October 24th 2018. As much as we encourage participating Green Schools to spend time outside, I want to encourage adults as well. Every break I took at Atlantic View I would walk outside and just let my mind pause for a few minutes while I related to the trees and the water around me, and that crow that kept swooping over my head. I then decided to name him Robin, which is ironic since he is a crow and Robin is a name for a different type of bird. Anyway, Robin and I ended up becoming buddies, and the more I relaxed, the more he stopped watching me with a distrustful eye, and I became integrated into the landscape.

Let me tell you, those few moments I spent appreciating the outdoors changed my perception and my whole day. No matter what season, there is always something worth appreciating here in our beautiful Maritime provinces. As much as I think I mean it when I say “I hate winter,” I consider myself very lucky to make my home in a place where we have both the bustling city and the quiet wildness of the country so closely intertwined.

My advice is, take 15 minutes every day to go outside and look around you. There is so much going on in nature that we simply miss it because we are ‘too busy’ to take a moment and pause. The world is constantly changing, yes, but let us take the time each day to recognize our relationship with nature.

~Ruvi Mugara, Engagement Officer

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