Connect With Nature... Just Like Illusen!
Illusen the earth faerie is the most famous Earth faerie around, and is so well loved that she has a special day dedicated to her: March 17th. On this day, Neopians from all over the globe celebrate her life in one way or another, whether it be sending gifts to her glade, wearing green, or connecting with nature, just like Illusen does every day.
But how exactly can we connect with nature? For an earth faerie like Illusen, it's simple, and part of their very being. But for other Neopians caught up in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day living, it's not so easy. Perhaps you find yourself constantly worrying about how many Neopoints you're bringing in, or tending to your shop more often than you would like. Maybe the Tax Beast is on your back, or you've been hit by a nasty Marrow Tax. With those things on your mind, nature is probably the last thing you're thinking about!
But nature could do you the world of good if you let it. Illusen herself has often commented on how soothing nature can be. It can allow you to find serenity, enhance your creativity, and give you some much-needed time to yourself. Before embarking on your journey through nature, though, make sure your Neopets are being well looked after! I'm sure they wouldn't mind spending some time in the Lodge with a few of their favourite toys for company.
If you don't usually connect with nature, you may feel a little lost about where to begin. Not to worry, here are some top tips that can help you embrace the world around you.
Take regular walks
You can walk for as little as ten minutes a day, if you like. Pick somewhere with lots of greenery, detached from busy marketplaces. Somewhere your mind can rest and be still. Neopia is not short on places like this, so even if you live in the heart of Neopia Central, you can venture out into the fields for some quiet time.
You don't have to walk alone to appreciate nature. You can bring your pets with you, as well, and enjoy it together. Walking in nature can be a wonderful, de-stressing experience, so take your time and enjoy it!
Tap into your senses
You can connect with nature using all of your senses, and you can do this at any time, even at home! Illusen's Glade is filled with flowers, as anyone who regularly visits will know. Bring nature into your Neohome by adorning it with beautifully scented flowers. Hang artwork on the walls that depict scenes of nature, and focus on them for a few minutes whenever you need some time out.
Feel nature, too. Find rivers to swish your toes in. Run barefoot through the grass, abandoning your boots. Visit the beach and go for a swim. Lie on warm sand. Roll in mud, if you prefer.
You'll often find Illusen sitting in a field with her eyes closed, smiling. She's listening to the sounds of nature. Use your ears and listen to the music of the world. Maybe it will tell you something you've been longing to hear.
Help nature grow
Buy some seeds and plant your own flowers. Many Neopians enjoy gardening, and find it to be a relaxing, rewarding activity. If you need advice, head down to the Gardening Centre, or better yet, get advice directly from nature and visit the Money Tree. He's usually a shy soul focused on handing out donations, but I'm sure if you ask him nicely, he'll tell you how you can do your part for his world. Alternatively, just spend some time sitting with him. He truly is a fascinating creature.
Talk to a Woodland Neopet
Woodland pets, not surprisingly, seem to have a profound connection with the world around us. They often say that they feel very in tune with the natural world, and they spend a lot of time outdoors. If you come across a Woodland pet, don't be afraid of striking up a conversation with them. Perhaps they can show you some beautiful parts of the world you haven't discovered yet, or give you some wise words to help you on your nature adventure.
If you can, why not travel and discover the wonders of nature in other parts of the world? Meridell is, of course, incredibly popular around Illusen Day, since it's where the faerie makes her home. It may be busy in March, though. If you can't handle the crowds, there are many other places you can consider. Kiko Lake, in the north-east, is a peaceful place where you can indulge in a spot of fishing and admire the clear blue waters. Or how about Mystery Island, a tropical paradise filled with colourful flowers and palm trees? There are many possibilities – even the majestic Maraqua, if you can breathe underwater!
There are many breath-taking parts of nature that are hidden from the naked eye. Explore forests and caves, lakes and rivers (but always remember to put your safety first). You never know what you might find. A hidden faerie glade? An undiscovered plant? A rock pool filled with interesting critters?
If you need a set destination, The Faerie Caves are popular, and full of gorgeous crystals and sparkling walls. However, it doesn't hurt to go off the beaten track now and again to see what you might discover.
Many Neopians find that fishing helps them connect with nature and relax at the same time. A popular destination is the underwater cavern in Maraqua. Fishing requires patience, so make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before you go!
And those are all the tips I have to share with you. Even if you don't practice these for Illusen Day, they may come in handy for the rest of the year, as you face enraging Neopian struggles such as the Wheel of Misfortune and the Stock Market. Try not to get too stressed, and remember to take some time out to re-connect with nature, and with yourself.