I remember clearly being a child and catching fireflies in the summer. While many other kids my age loved Christmas, I longed for fireflies and summer. There was nothing better to me than a summer evening. I loved running through the tall grass behind our house barefoot and chasing those flying green orbs. I loved collecting them in a jar. More than anything I loved letting them all fly out.
As an adult we lose this connection to nature. We no longer catch fireflies. We no longer run through the grass barefoot. We aren’t grounded in the Earth, but entangled in our work, friends, families and lives. We no longer seek to catch anything elusive outside of a promotion or possessions. We don’t let go. We don’t disconnect from our modern lives.
Sometimes when I feel stressed or overwhelmed I go outside at dusk (summer is still my favorite). I take off my shoes (and socks if I’m wearing any) and I stand on the grass. I root my feet into the Earth to remember where I’m planted. I drop my shoulders and feel the energy pulling my hands towards the ground as my head floats towards the sky. I close my eyes and listen to the sounds all around me. I breathe. I feel the air around me, pulsating with energy and the last tiny speck of sunshine. I connect to nature and I remember all those memories of catching fireflies, running through the grass and laughing.
Nothing can calm my mind better than being in nature. No medication exists to do what grounding does for me. It’s not just the sensory experience for me. It’s feeling the energy inside me and feel it wash over me from the ground, to my feet, up my body and out the top of my head. It’s this connection to the world that keeps me sane. In this moment I know I’m alive. I’m grateful to be able to feel the grass, the breeze, hear the birds, smell petrichor in my nostrils. It brings my focus back to my purpose, it allows me to know why I’m here, and in this moment I find complete bliss.
Tonight as I opened my eyes, I saw fireflies. They floated on the soft, warm breeze of summer. They blinked between the green leaves on the maple tree in my back yard. I felt completely at peace. And as I watched the neighbor’s children laugh as they ran barefoot across the grass, I remembered what it feels like to be where they are, to feel that the future is a million miles away and that summer will last forever.