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How nature brings clarity in tough times

In the rush and stress of our daily lives, how often do we stop to admire nature? We know it helps us. Heals us. Nature brings clarity. Could taking breaks in nature make us stronger?

A mesmerizing sunset. A calming pond. Waves gently lapping on the seaside. Standing under a shady tree. Curled up by the window in a blanket to watch the thunderstorm.

The paragraphs below are some of my detailed snapshots of nature.

Read them slowly to savour.

At snail’s pace

I was walking home one day, during my undergraduate studies’ hospital attachment. Near the hospital gate, I stopped to see a snail on the wall. It was moving – but so. Super. Slowly. 

But surely. 

I wondered if it knew where it was heading. I wondered why my studies seemed to be never ending and how much I was struggling. This little snail seemed so calm, content and purposeful. 

I watched it for awhile, smiling. As I walked away, I thought, “What about me?”

nature clarity snail tree

Building bones

What is the strongest part of your body? There are many answers, but I’d say your bones are one of them. 

Our skeletal system is the structure on which muscles, flesh and skin then pile on to make our bodies. Eat, cook or boil meat with bones and see how the meat falls off but the bones stay intact. 

Or how sup tulang is hard and messy to eat, precisely because the soft part is deep within the bone hole. So we have to hit the hard bone on the plate for the edible part to drop out. Tok, tok, tok.

Could you imagine crumbling a bone with your fingers? Surely, it takes a very strong person to do it???, you say. 

But this very formidable bone is easily crumbled after just a few months of composting within soil, albeit a small chicken bone. It reminds me that everything strong can crumble. 

So build yourself up, but be humble anyway.

City skies

10.30pm. It was one of the later endings of her irregular work days in the centre of Singapore. Shops were closing and crowds were thinning. 

Goodbye to brain-numbing work.Goodbye to difficult clients and bosses. But instead of the faster train ride, she’d choose a long-winded bus ride home. Why? 

Well, when the bus exited streets crowded by skyscrapers onto the highway, the night sky would be all around her. Seated at the very front of the bus on the second deck – if she could – she would press her face as close as she could to the glass windows and soak in nature’s wide space of nothingness. It healed her. It made her feel better.

nature clarity night city sky

Nature is undeniably majestic. Just these snapshots remind us that nature brings clarity. If I were to start sharing reflections, it might never end. Nature and reflections –  these two things were honestly the start of Social Greens. 

And so this post hopes to be the start of the Nature series: Reflections on nature that brought me clarity and perspective in the toughest of times. Nature as a guide to our own work-life harmony. Nature as a friend to you and me.

I’m sure you have stories of being in and with nature too. Comment or send me an email at

Till the next conversation in this series, see you!

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