4 Life Lessons You Can Take From The Natural Landscape
Ok, so I have a slight advantage while writing this piece of content.
I’m currently sat in the heart of Chilean Patagonia.
The last two weeks have been spent traveling south from El Chalten in Argentina to Punta Arenas in Chile, bathing in pure nature and millions of years of history.
The advantage is due to the remoteness and wilderness at every turn. As we all know, nature and the natural landscape have an essence unlike nothing else. The ability to drag you into the moment through sheer unparalleled beauty.
This natural beauty has also got me thinking not just about the present moment but also what we can learn from the natural landscape in general.
And this led me to the following thoughts..
Things take time
At its peak 18,000 years ago, the Patagonian Ice Sheet spanned an area roughly the size of modern-day Spain. Today just 4% of that ice volume remains.
My point here is not the disappearance of that ice sheet, it is instead the impact that this change has had on the landscape and the time it has taken to make this change. And this is an example that has taken place in a very short space of time.
The Cordillera Paine in Torres del Paine is 12 million years old, while the Andes mountain range as a whole was formed over 60 million years ago.
What has struck me so much over the last few weeks is that even with the pace at which glaciers have moved and retreated over the landscape in that time, in time they can sculpt the landscape around us and the very mountain peaks that leave us astounded.
The fastest-moving glacier in terms of area covered through the year is found in Greenland, advancing at a pace of 12.6 kilometres (7.8 miles) per year. A distance you could probably run in an hour.
Back to the point in question here.
Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves.
In a world in which we are now so used to others completing amazing feats at every turn, startups founded by even younger college dropouts we can fall into the trap of thinking our development, progress or success is too slow.
For myself, this is true all the time. I am currently trying to learn Spanish and just a month into my South America adventure can give myself a hard time due to the fact I’m not picking the language up as quickly as I first hoped.
Although I believe ambition and goals are an important part of life, so is remembering that things take time.
Change is constant
Building on the point made above, mountain ranges are formed over millions of years.
Sedimentary rock from the bottom of the ocean making its way to the top of mountain ranges often with the help of the tectonic plates that move continually within the earth’s crusts that we are all on top of at this very moment.
The landscape around us is continually changing, in so many ways. From the formation of mountain ranges to the movement of water that is taking place at this moment. Even now as I type this I know that on the border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina Iguazu Falls continues to rush and burst with life. Pure unrelenting energy.
Learning to love and embrace change is a beautiful thing.
Beauty is found in stillness
Majestic landscapes have that unrivaled ability to jolt you into the present moment.
This alure that nature holds is only likely to become even more powerful as our lives become more disconnected from our true essence by the day. Technology and modern-day cities have advanced our lives for the better in countless ways. However, as we all know this can also have drawbacks as well. From ever-shortening attention spans, through to the fact that sometimes it can be hard to catch a breath, so easy to go through a whole day without stopping for even a moment to look around and be in the moment.
That just isn’t possible when surrounded by a stunning natural landscape. Quite the opposite is true. It’s almost impossible for the ego to take hold in the same way when you’re constantly in touch with nature at this level.
And I believe that is where true beauty can be found. Just like true nature can stop you in its tracks, so can art, or anything else for that matter that can drag you headfirst into the present moment, from sports through to unexpected surprises, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
The road ahead won’t be straight
Meandering rivers always reach their destination.
Life doesn’t run in any old straight line but what is important is that you must always remember to trust the process.
All experiences make you stronger and take you ultimately where you need and want to go, even if that can be so hard to see when confronted with yet another setback.
What you seek is seeking you.