By Kat McDaniel, Principal at MEDiAHEAD
So many of us have turned to nature to escape and to diminish the many negative emotions stemming from the current state of the country and the isolation we’re experiencing. We’re rediscovering parks and hiking with friends at a safe distance. Our back yards have become our sanctuaries where we enjoy time with family and friends. Even removing your shoes and standing on the grass can reinvigorate your connection to the earth.
Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.
My Octopus Teacher is my new favorite nature film on Netflix. The filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest learning about nature as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.
“What she taught me was to feel that you’re part of this place, not a visitor”
– Craig Foster
Foster, meeting the octopus every day for 250 days, learns about healing, caring and growing in a world filled with solace and newness. The eight armed animal touched his soul in a way nobody else did, he felt for her deeply as if it was someone he had to take care of.
We watch the octopus grow from a little animal till the day she gives birth, turns white, and dies. There is something so heart touching about this documentary that you feel some amount of the pain Foster did watching her every day. She has to dodge pajama sharks and other predators constantly. As she fights to survive in this wilderness, you grow so proud of her wit and skills – realizing how smart she is.
The documentary finds its core, in its earnestness – an affection that is beyond the boundaries of science and sea. A bond where their pain feels like a personal loss. At no point do you lose the ground reality where you feel that this is scripted – it all feels genuine and heartfelt.
Indeed, nature is a friend everyone seeks!