10 Ways to Connect with the Cycles of Nature

Tips by Brianne Dela Cruz


In a busy society, many of us are looking for ways to slow down, spend more time outdoors, and find joy in small moments. These ten ideas give us options and teach us how to connect with nature in a more meaningful way.


Celebrate the Solstices and Equinox Days 

These four milestones of the solar calendar mark the transition from one season to the next. The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year, while the winter solstice marks the shortest day and longest night. The spring and fall equinoxes mark the midway points between each solstice when day and night are equal around the globe. Regardless of our location or climate, we all experience this celestial cycle. These natural milestones offer an opportunity to connect deeper to the land by tuning into the changing of seasons. They are moments through a seasonal year in which to celebrate the joys in nature and tradition brought about by a new season. 

Celebrate the Winter Solstice
Nature begins a new year on the winter solstice. This solstice is a time to celebrate the season of darkness, new beginnings, and the return of light. Midwinter is a restorative period after a full year of growth. It is a moment to rest, nurture ourselves, and dream up plans for a new year. Many people celebrate this time by sleeping more, making rich, comforting meals, gathering with family around a warm hearth, and dreaming big for the year ahead.
Celebrate the Spring Equinox
The Spring Equinox is a moment to celebrate new life and youthful energy. The sprouting seeds in nature prompt us to enjoy the beauty of earth reawakening. We say goodbye to winter and welcome longer, warmer days. Spring is a time to put action to dreams and embrace youthful play. 
Celebrate the Summer Solstice
The Summer Solstice is the most vibrant and lively time of the year. It’s a season to celebrate abundance and the beauty and diversity of life blooming everywhere. Many celebrate this day by gathering around a bonfire late into the night, making flower crowns, traveling to wild places, and reveling in warm days full of play and work. 
Celebrate the Autumn Equinox
Autumn ushers a shift in nature where life declines into death or dormancy. Just like the energy in nature, this is a time to get back to our roots. Many people celebrate this shift in the season by slowing down, nesting, and enjoying rich, hearty seasonal foods. It’s a time to craft, cozy up, and root into grounding rituals.

Track the Stars and Phases of the Moon 

Landscape night scene of mountains and the stars


An ancient way to connect to the cycles of nature is to track the lunar phases and astrological alignments of our solar system. Knowing these celestial cycles and planetary arrangements connects us to the universe beyond our earth. It's a unique way of viewing ourselves as part of a greater whole. For some, simply gazing at and naming constellations is a great way to slow down and connect to nature. For others, the undulating lunar phases offer moments to reconnect, much like the seasonal phases of the solar calendar. 

Connecting with the Lunar Cycles
The new moon is the start of a new lunar cycle. It is a time to rest, be introspective, and set intentions. The rising energy of the waxing phase is a time to expend more energy and work towards goals. The full moon is the brightest and most alive moment of the lunar cycle. It is a time to celebrate, play, and gather with community. The waning lunar phase is time to wind down, reflect, and get grounded.

Host a Full Moon Bonfire Gathering

Backyard bonfire with 3 friends sititing around the fire

Gathering with loved ones around a fire on the full moon is a beautiful way to connect and celebrate the cycles of nature. The energy in nature for each lunar cycle peaks at the full moon. It’s a great time to gather with community, celebrate the highlights of the month, and embrace what’s happening at that moment in nature before turning inward as the lunar energy wanes. 


Watch Wildlife

Seeking out and observing wildlife is another way to infuse nature’s cycles into our lives. Watching wildlife helps us understand migration patterns and life cycles relative to the changing seasons. 


Grow a Garden

Growing a garden helps us develop an intimate understanding of the lifecycle our land endures through a seasonal year. Growing plants from seed, to flower, to fruit, is a tangible way to get involved in the ongoing cycles of nature. It’s in the garden that we become experts at understanding all phases of life: birth, youth, growth, maturity, decline, then finally, death and the afterlife. Learn how grow your own vegetable garden or garden by the cycles of the moon.

Begin a Sunrise Morning Ritual

Women wrapped in a blanket sitting outside holding a warm drink

Greeting each day with the sunrise is a beautiful way to begin the day connected to nature. 

Watch the sun rise with a cup of coffee. Do some gentle stretching to the sound of morning birdsong. Journal as the day dawns. Simply sit and enjoy the view as the day begins again. 


Watch the Sunset Every Day

Person on a beach with a lantern watching the sunset

Just like rising with the sun, this small ritual helps us connect deeper to the cycles of nature. Over time we see how the sun’s patterns change, and we enjoy the simple beauty of nature.


Go on a Daily Nature Walk

Wooden boardwalk path leading through a grove of trees and greenery

Get outside for a walk, even if it’s only for 30 minutes each day. This walk is a great way to take a step back from a busy life (especially on work days) and be present outdoors. On your walk, breathe the fresh air, let the sun kiss your face and feel the breeze in your hair. Notice what is happening in nature that day. What are the animals doing? What is the weather like? Daily observations of nature are easy to do but add up quickly to help us develop a strong relationship with the patterns of the natural world. 


Go Analog for a Few Days

Person journaling in the mountains with overcast background

Check out of the digital world and into the natural world by going analog for a few days. Read a book in hand, tell stories, or go on an outdoor adventure for entertainment. Wear an analog wristwatch or guesstimate time by looking at the position of the sun. Use a paper map instead of a phone for directions. Cook over the fire. Wake with the sun and sleep when nighttime pulls you to bed. Going analog is a powerful way to recalibrate our human-animal bodies back to nature’s pace. 


Meditate Outside 

Lake setting with person in the water at sunset

There are many ways to engage in meditative activities in nature, and it’s easier to do than you might think. Meditation is simply engaging in any ritual with mindfulness and connection to body and breath. Deep breathing and appreciating a view can be the most transformative and meditative experiences one can have outdoors. Breath-work is a great practice to try at the destination of a hike, in a cozy spot in the garden, or at a camp spot before beginning the day. Other ways of meditating outdoors can be gardening, going for a walk, wild swimming, or star gazing. The ritual of building a fire and then watching the flames dance is another highly meditative way of connecting with natural elements. 



Brianne Dela Cruz is a master gardener, wild forager, campfire foodie, and acclaimed writer and photographer. From her home in Salt Lake City, she teaches online gardening and foraging courses for modern folks and budding naturalists as well as hosts seasonal community gatherings. Brianne's blog and online school, Gather & Grow, is a community of folks exploring the intersection between nature and personal growth by discovering ways to slow down and nourish themselves with nature.  

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