When I was growing up we moved from living in town to living in the country. At first it was just property, 45 acres on a dirt road. Across the street were wet lands and in the distance a lake. The nearest neighbors were in walking distance but because of the lay of the land you couldn’t see them. Traffic on the road was minimal and usually we knew who drove that particular car. Nature was literally at our doorstep. We walked through woods and played in streams, skated on ponds and frozen channels, rode horses, watched wild life and learned how to identify birds and flowers. I spent time, a lot of time, walking the woods and fields. Once when I was out walking an area that was heavy in trees and had a little stream running through it I felt a presence. I looked up just as a great horned owl flew right over my head. He was so low I felt that I could have reached up and touched him. Owls are silent in flight, which added an almost spiritual quality to the experience. Living out there gave me a deeper awareness and appreciation of nature and once you are tuned in to her you have new eyes to look at the world with.
Now I live in town and have for many years, but my connection with nature hasn’t changed. I have made our backyard into my sanctuary and have seen amazing things back there. Last year a toad laid eggs in my pond and we got to watch them develop into teeny tiny toads before they all emerged from the pond and went off into the world. There is a Coopers Hawk that flies through on his way to the neighbor’s bird feeder to pick up a snack. My feeder is too protected for him to have much of a chance with. Two winters ago a Screech owl showed up and hung out in a protected area of roof on the back patio while a snow storm raged around him. We also have a variety of backyard birds like chickadees, nuthatches, juncos, and the normal assortment but every once in awhile we get some rose breasted grosbeaks and cedar wax wings.
I love the crispness of those early spring mornings and the promise that warmth is truly on the way. The quality of light with the grayness of the end of winter is beautiful. What a gift Mother Nature gives us if we only slow down to see it. Nature also helps to heal. It isn’t just helping me now but has helped me in the past. Recovery from difficult times has always involved being in nature, now isn’t any different and perhaps more vital. Making time to get out there and work or just sit in the yard calms my mind and comforts my soul.
So I’m going to take my own advice and get a little girl time with Mother Nature, maybe a walk in the woods with the dogs. Sounds like the perfect medicine.