This season invites us to step outdoors with a fresh perspective on the beauty of the green, growing world.
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,” wrote the naturalist John Muir, “he feels it attached to the rest of the world.”
Each year, there comes a time when the seasons change and we are able to spend more time outdoors. As this changed occurs, we’re always wise to take a moment to pause, look around and gratefully breathe in the freshness of the warm, growing season.
This year, the renewal of the natural world—and our place in it—is more poignant than ever as we continue to live with the coronavirus pandemic and its myriad implications for our daily lives.
For me, Muir’s words capture the moment perfectly. Having spent so much time indoors—and continuing to physically distance despite the weather—I find that each “single thing” I encounter in nature takes on profound meaning.
1) Nature Feeds Us
Lettuce and herb seeds that I planted weeks ago are starting to look like actual, bona fide plants. I’ve grown vegetable gardens for years, but this year when those tender plants first peered up at the sunlight, I felt deeply moved by the gift of nourishment that can grow from such a tiny thing.
2) Nature Persists
My family is fortunate to live near a walking trail that is sparsely traveled. The sight of feathery, new pine trees greeted us on a recent walk and left us astonished and reassured as we recognized that they had grown from pine cones that had peppered the forest floor. Without any human hands, nature finds its way.
3) Nature Comforts Us
The recent events in our country have left no one untouched. Each of us is grieving in some way—for a loved one who has died, for those who suffer, for the pressures of financial strain, for the loss of routines and habits that used to define our daily lives. In times of grief, nature can be a comforting presence. Take a moment to look up at passing clouds, gaze at photos of awe-inspiring natural wonders and find solace in the ever-present invitation nature offers us to connect to the beauty of both our inner lives and, as Muir suggests, “to the rest of the world.”
Do you find yourself appreciating nature in new ways during this time?