A new year and a new way of living

By Nicole Weyandt

It’s been just under two years of us living in the strange and isolating situation of the pandemic, removed from what was once ‘normal’. Just as our social worlds are opening up and we are reconnecting with our loved ones, the leaves and flowers are also opening up, and they are inviting us to reconnect with the natural world.

My mission over recent years has been to learn to live with less – less stuff, less distraction and less drama. This has helped me to notice the peace that comes when I am focused on ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’, on ‘connecting’ rather than ‘taking’. I am learning to appreciate life and this earth for what it is, rather than for what I can get from it. I’ve been focusing on reconnecting with the earth by taking my camera out on bush-walks, enjoying runs on forested single tracks, and preparing meals to share with family.

Four months ago I welcomed a four-legged companion into my life, and as many dog owners might relate, my heart has never felt so full. My pup and I share a special, playful connection. I am inspired by her curiosity with each unfamiliar sight, smell or sound, and have remembered my own curiosity and sense of wonder that comes with experiencing this wild world.

For myself and for others, maybe this cue to reconnect with each other can extend to our connection with the natural world. Perhaps this can be the transition that sparks our curiosity and inspires us to wander through an old growth forest, watch a lightning storm light up the sky, or to explore a secluded bend of the Murray River.