All of us can recall a relationship with someone where we give, give, give, until we are so depleted, we can give no more. Maybe it was a spouse, a boss, or someone we thought was a friend. It often ends when our own need for survival kicks in and makes us walk away from a blood-sucking situation.
When a relationship is balanced, however, with a healthy give and take volley, it is a treasure. We enjoy giving and we bask in the returned kindness. It's a win-win.
Mother Nature, as powerful as she is, is no different. It appears she loves a reciprocal relationship as much as we do. At least that is what I have seen and experienced. Give to her, and appreciate her, she gives back, tenfold.
Two recent examples come to mind to showcase this phenomenon.
In the tropical, blue waters of the Cayman Islands an idea was born. Rudy Reyes, a former Recon Marine, who had been struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Depression after returning home from combat overseas, was transformed into a calmer, smiling person within days of his dive trip with friends. Jim Ritterhoff and Keith Samm, friends of Reyes, recognized the healing effect. The three men linked the need of the oceans' damaged coral reefs with the help these highly trained dive veterans could offer the reefs.
In return, the ocean was willing to help restore and repair the Veterans, who are so often too proud to ask for help. The power of water to heal is a term researcher, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, calls Blue Mind.
Eager to share the opportunity with other combat divers to once again have a mission-save our coral reefs, Ritterhoff, a marketing expert, and Reyes, created a non-profit organization, Force Blue Team. Force Blue Team has tested the concept of partnering Veteran combat divers with Marine Biologists, as well as mental health experts, to restore coral reefs and improve the mental well being of Veterans, with great success. The program is a win-win for both our oceans and our Veterans.
A documentary film is being created called Mercy, Love and Grace- The Story Of Force Blue Team. I recently saw the premier of the introduction of the film in New York City. It was moving, inspiring, and if you forgive the pun, very deep. I think Dr. Brene Brown would be proud to see how these fierce, tough, men and women open themselves up in the movie and expose their vulnerable, human side. Their candidness on how their military missions have affected them and the joy of finding purpose and camaraderie again through Force Blue Team was emotive.
If you would like to learn more about how to help sponsor the film so that it can be completed, please visit this IndieGoGo page: Link.
Force Blue Team is also looking for donations and corporate sponsors. To learn more, please visit their website or contact them. Their website is www.forceblueteam.org .
Over on dry land another reciprocal relationship with nature blooms. This one in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few miles from the Capital city.
A drive down Old Baucom Road will lead you to an explosion of yellow sunflowers standing at attention, like soldiers, to the sun. Photographers, families, dog walkers and bikers gather along the white fence surrounding the field to bask in the awe.
While the happy flowers bring immense joy to hundreds who flock to see the massive bloom, they have a greater purpose.
According to the City Of Raleigh, " The fields serve as an application site for biosolids from the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility. The stabilized sludge (biosolids) is applied to the field as a fertilizer. The sunflowers are planted to keep the nitrogen-rich soil from washing into the streams and rivers in the watershed. Finally, the sunflowers are harvested and the seeds are used to produce biodiesel."
They also are a smorgasbord for our struggling pollinators-honeybees, bees, and butterflies. They were loving them!
Once again, Mother Nature seems thrilled to give back for the efforts to protect her.
To learn more about our reciprocal relationship with nature and how nature can help heal you and promote your wellness, sign up for Sue's blog and/or socialize with her on social media @TheNatureNurse.