The Breath of Nature

Hello Everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! Can you believe we are saying Thanksgiving? These past few months have flown by with break neck speed. The thought of how fast life moves really hit hard when I was working outside the other day. My husband and I were prepping our house and yard as the Colorado forecast was predicting snow. I was standing by a pile of assorted leaves feeling the chill of the air absentmindedly raking when I stopped and listened to the wind. It's breath was different making me more sure the forecasters were right in their prediction. I sighed as I thought of the speed of life again and paused for a moment thinking, when did this all change. When did the trees change their color? When did the wind change it's direction? When did nature begin its march toward the closing of the summer season, and begin it's preparations for the deep winter sleep. Why, wasn't it only yesterday that I was standing under the shade of a maple trying to find shelter from the sun's intense rays? I began raking again and thought a bit sadly of how time surely does fly.

But whether we like it or not time marches on. I realize this and shake off the feelings of sadness at the rapid passing of time, and try to turn my reflection instead on the amazing life that is all around us not how fast it goes. How often I forget the simple joys that each moment brings right were I am. I may not be able to control it's speed, but I can remind myself of the simple peace especially the peace of this time of year.  The hushing of the happy business of spring and summer that is gently brought to a close as autumn embraces the earth. 

It reminds me of the  reflections of Richard Headstrom in his book The Living Year
          I have been sitting by my study window, watching swirling gusts of wind blow 
          fallen leaves crazily over the ground. It seems only yesterday that they were
          resplendent in yellows and golds, russets and browns; but now, tattered and torn, 
          they lie scattered about, the playthings of every passing breeze and a poignant 
          reminder that the season of biting winds, icy pendants, and whirling snowflakes 
          is near at hand. Only the rosy glow in the sky, as the sun disappears behind the 
          distant hillside, remains as the essence of October's brilliance. Yet the woods, 
          though not wholly leafless, are not without a certain beauty as purple and brown 
          shadows silently steal over them and the twilight blends into the blackness of the 
          night. Traditionally November is a month of "wailing winds and naked woods and 
          meadows brown and sere" and all is bleak and cheerless. But there are days when 
          the sun shines sweetly and the air is warm and soft like that of May; when a red 
          dragon fly may be seen winging its way in the golden sunshine and an evening 
          primrose belatedly opens its blossoms in the hope that some still active sphinx 
          moth might visit it; when a meadow lark may be heard singing one last song 
          before he sets out on his southward flight. 

Reading passages like this sooth my sadness and ease the weariness of this harried and hurried life. Ruminating on nature brings me back to center and brings a deep relief to my soul. Cars horns may honk, the to-do lists may grow longer, the "in box" may always stay full, and the world around me may be a swirling mass of confusion, but stepping into nature whether by footpath or book gives back the peace I long for in so many unfulfilling places. 

A wise priest once told me that the best remedy for depression is to go out and look at the stars. I think he is absolutely correct. Not though just solely observing the stars, but any thing in nature. It was made for us humans, nature that is. God knew we needed a place to find refreshment and peace, and He made it so easy to get to. It's as easy as walking out your front door or looking out a window or picking up a book. 

So when the Christmas rush is too much and your heart begins to sink as you feel lost in the chaos of the holiday shopping and preparations, take a nature walk with your feet or your eyes. It's food for the soul and makes the march of time easier to bear.