It’s sort of ironic, given the picture of NZ from overseas perspectives are of a bucolic, rural sort of place.
But for us, the countryside is something mostly observed through a window, the green of the hills a pretty backdrop.
When you’re part of, and in, the land and country, then you have a new perspective.
And even though you may be with and part of a team, only as an individual do you appreciate and experience the ‘resource’ at your backdoor in this countryside.
Suburbia doesn’t allow you to navigate a challenging river crossing on a tramp, herd that last wayward lamb into the yards, marvel at how a large tree has survived and thrived, search for eels, spot an unusual bird, or get the fright of your life when a goat and her two kids jump out of the bush in front of you.
Townies can’t go for a rambling walk, swim in a chilly stream and are unlikely to be able to slide down a hill on a piece of cardboard. And while you might be able to go fly a kite in the city, there’s something magic when it’s just seagulls watching.
Now, having to look up and beyond a horizon has been shown to be good for our eyesight.
But having a horizon made of hills is also good for your soul and liberating for your spirit.
Added to these benefits is one called ‘soft fascination’. Soft fascination provides relief from our exhausting lifestyles through our involuntary attention. Directed attention is anything like a screen, where our brain is tuned into something organised and functional.
Soft fascination is a walk in the bush, with light filtered between trees, watching the clouds from the top of a hill, listening to the sound of leaves rustling. There’s an inbuilt irregularity - which because we can’t concentrate on them, makes them relaxing.
Its restorative, it allows our minds to slow down.
It’s one of the many small bonuses built into holding an event at The Sheds.
Our location lends itself to people experiencing new relationships of and because of the land.
All by simply ‘being’ - in the country.