As a young child the mysteries of Mother Nature overwhelmed me. Raindrops, colourful flowers, a gust of wind, the waves of the sea and the barking of a dog were all wonders to me. My younger brother remained fascinated by nature and I can still catch him observing swarms of insects whereas I, as the years passed, shrugged them off and moved on. Nature just is and that’s that.
During my early teens I even thought nature was stupid, probably as a direct consequence of long hikes with my parents. As my parents dragged me to hilly France and Austria, I would complain “nature is boring”.
There’s a correlation between mind-expanding substances and how users relate to nature.
This changed during a hike in France that landed us on the ablation zone of a glacier. The glacier was enormous and difficult to climb, special equipment and specialized knowledge were required. This ice miracle was awe-inspiring and its crevasses looked deep and dangerous. I suddenly needed the adventure this glacier represented. My parents were happy with this change in holiday preferences and booked a family glacier-climbing course for the next summer. I gleefully walked the ice, learned how to navigate and was rewarded with the ultimate satisfaction: the view in the sunshine on 3500+ meters is nothing short of pure bliss. My love for the mountains was born and more holidays gallivanting on their peaks, followed.
But then I let high school and university life get in between. Beach holidays, partying and general procrastination in my studies followed. I never seemed to have time for even a calming walk through the dunes. This was simply because I never made the time for something that didn’t seem relevant compared to so many social and study obligations. This changed only about two years ago, when I met my current boyfriend and when I met psychedelics.
The boyfriend and psychedelics were introduced to me almost simultaneously. He and I took microdoses, quarts of tabs and 0,8 grams together, all outdoors. He pointed out beautifully winged insects, wild arug ula, a purple grain in a leaf, a remarkable stone or the call of father blackbird. Thankfully, he does this to the same degree when sober.
Many small and big trips later I have regained a new respect for nature and I yearn for her almost daily. Every time I walk through a forest I see patterns in the branches and leaves that I first saw when high. And the more I know of nature the more I value her and honour her presence by being pro-environmental.
In 2017 a study, done by researches of Yale University and the University of Innsbruck, looked into the perception of nature of trippers of LSD, psilocybin and mescaline. The results? There’s a correlation between mind-expanding substances and how users relate to nature. Use predicts a self-reported engagement in eco-conscious behaviour (such as recycling and conscious use of water). This is statistically explained by people’s degree of self-identification with nature. I’m not the only one to experience a deeper connection to nature after consumption of ‘the classic psychedelics’! Do you recognize the feeling of ‘I am nature, nature is me’?
Photo credit: Sarah Zucca