We had a hailstorm today. On the first day of spring, a battering of ice balls fell from the clouds, rain poured and thunder rumbled.
Afterwards, when I left work this evening, the air felt so comfortably cool. And it felt clean.
When I got home, before I went inside, movement high in one of our oak trees caught my attention. It was a squirrel.
A lot of squirrels hang out in our yard. I see a fluff of gray just about every day.
|See the squirrel?|
But this evening, this squirrel, high up in the tree, kept my attention. I don’t know how the small limb, a mere twig from my viewpoint, held the squirrel’s weight. But it did as he or she walked back and forth.
I still had my head back enjoying the play when my husband opened the door to greet me.
|Periwinkle around rocks|
After going inside and saying hello to my husband and cats, I grabbed my camera back up and went outside. I had to capture some of the beauty of this spring evening, our first spring evening this year.
Being among animals, trees, flowers—nature—calms me. I love the beauty I see. I love knowing that all this life goes on, even while I’m gritting my way through a long day at work.
Today was layout day. We went to press tonight, so all day I sat at the computer and created pages. I drew text boxes, formatted copy, input photos, wrote cutlines, made the stories fit.
My shoulders are telling me that I used poor posture most of the day. My jaw is tight, my stomach a bit unruly.
But I feel good, too, because of my little walk in nature, my little adventure.
That nature can calm and comfort is not my discovery, not a new idea. But I need to be reminded sometimes that there’s more to life than the four walls around me, my thoughts, my worries, my concerns, much more to life than I can even imagine.
It’s not that I had such a terrible day. Life is very good in many ways right now. But the darkness of depression and the anxiety of obsessive-compulsive disorder are there, in different degrees on different days. And I’m old enough to know that sorrows happen to everyone.
We all need comfort sometimes, different kinds and for different reasons. And nature is a form of comfort.
I have so much to learn about what is in nature. I grew up on a farm. I’m a country girl by birth. But I don’t know the names of all the trees around me, the birds, the flowers. I can enjoy nature without knowing such things, but I want to learn.
I love to read about nature. One of my favorite collection of essays is called “Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature,” by Kathleen Dean Moore.
I turned to her writings last fall, when I was mourning losing my Waddles, when I couldn’t sleep because of the pain.
Moore, too, finds comfort in nature, as her title states. I highlighted the following passage from the introduction to her essays:
“I don’t know what despair is, if it’s something or nothing, a kind of filling up or an emptying out. I don’t know what sorrow does to the world, what it adds or takes away. What I think I do know now is that sorrow is part of Earth’s great cycles, flowing into the night like cool air sinking down a river course. To feel sorrow is to float on the pulse of the Earth, the surge from living to dying, from coming into being to ceasing to exist. Maybe this is why the Earth has the power over time to wash sorrow into a deeper pool, cold and shadowed. And maybe this is why, even though sorrow never disappears, it can make a deeper connection to the currents of life and so connect, somehow, to sources of wonder and solace. I don’t know.” (“Wild Comfort: The Solace of Nature.” By Kathleen Dean Moore. Page 10-11, e-edition.)
I am not a hot weather person. Spring in Virginia seems to so quickly lead into the hot, humid days of summer.
But I welcome the blooms, the green, the robins. I welcome this part of nature.
Do you find comfort in nature? What part of nature? How does it comfort you?