There is nothing more powerful than connecting with nature to ground me or to find release from a stressful situation. Earlier today offers a perfect example. While the morning was still dark, I sat on the front porch, coffee in hand, and listened to the birds sing the sun to its rising. I was invigorated by the fresh air and the energy of a new day.
Over the last six years, I’ve written frequently about the power of connecting with nature. Whether I’m writing about trees, chickens, or walks in the woods, my message is clear. There is an unmistakeable calming effect when one steps out of the busy day-to-day and focuses instead on nature.
More recently I wrote about a communion with nature in the recent publication of 365 Life Shifts. It was one of three short stories I contributed to the best-selling anthology released February 2017. The book is the third in the 365 series by DandiLove Unlimited and includes 250 life-changing stories. Contributing authors share experiences that inspire and uplift the reader. Many of the stories reflect personal moments of profound awareness of the world around them.
A Morning Ritual
To give you deeper insight to how nature inspires me, I’m sharing the story I submitted to last years’ release 365 Moments of Grace, published June 2016.
I sit on the front step of my house, facing East, coffee in hand, waiting for the sun to peek through the fog that hangs thick to the first light of dawn. My favorite time of day.
Closing my eyes, I breathe in the morning air, clean and crisp, and listen to a chorus of birds. I make out the distinctive notes of a Carolina Wren calling “jeremy, jeremy” against the backdrop of the loud metallic chirps of Cardinals. A moment later I hear the musical song of an American Robin, blending with the clear whistles of a Tufted Titmouse. Echoing in the distance is the soft cooing of a Mourning Dove beckoning for a mate.
I put down my cup and stand on the walkway just as the sun breaks through the mist to greet me. With a deep inhalation, I stretch my arms over my head and slowly exhale as I bend from the waist for a sun salutation. At this moment, I connect with all of Mother Earth — the birds, the trees, the ground beneath my feet.
Lifting myself upright, I move slowly, intentionally through several salutations, allowing my connection to this moment to deepen. Birdsong continues, a dog barks in the distance, and I stand after the final bow, just in time to see the passing of a blue heron across the top of the trees.
I smile, in thanks and gratitude, for the gifts of nature, the beauty of the horizon, the assurance of each sunrise, and for the moon cycles that push and pull at the ocean tides. Mother Earth, ever constant, in her perpetual show of grace.
How do you allow nature to inspire you?