In my former life, when the pace was at the speed of wild, and I stiletto hopped from event to event by night and meeting to meeting by day, thoughts of what to tackle and do next whirling around in my head at an equally frenetic rate, I rarely contemplated the wonder-world of nature around me. In fact, I didn’t’ even see it, despite the proximity, so obsessed was I with the next big fundraiser to cover, next big client to nail, next big editorial to shoot. “Nature” to me was something in the distance that environmentalists were concerned about (rightfully so with my full support and blessings) but their domain, not mine.
The onset of the pandemic and pause of life as I knew it changed all that, as did the step away from the digital platforms a few months in. Suddenly there was a lot more time to take a more profound look around, to gaze at the imposing and distinguished tree outside my window, to make incredibly gratifying daily eye contact with Mr. Squirrel and his band of scurry mates, and yes, to smell those intoxicating roses and florals all round that radiated treats for multiple senses with ease and elegance.to stay curious and engaged, daily embracing new frontiers and adventures is a gift, opening ourselves to the miraculous rewards of growth is ever open to fresh and miraculous experience that both enrich our lives and help us grow.
What did I learn from this quality time with many of Mother Nature’s creations?
From the tree I now consider a friend, the lessons were plentiful: his strong roots a foundation for the challenges the seasonal changes would bring, reminding me how important establishing good and strong foundations in all facets of life are; the shifting nature of his status underscoring that the only constant on this complex and unpredictable journey called life is change; his slow and steady multiplication of branches and rising stature pointing to the growth we must embrace with grace and maturity.
From the myriad seeds planted for the first time ever in my window sill (thanks to a fantastical innovation called the Aerogarden, one I highly recommend) came the gifts of patience and just how spectacular it is that such tiny pips might soon evolve into a steady supply of fine sustenance if attended to with the right combination of nurturing love and attention. How similar we creatures are …!!
From the gaggle of glorious birds routinely alighting onto the backyard scene with exuberance, the epiphany that soaring to unimaginable heights is more than a dream only when daring is the directive and wings are spread.
From the squirrels scurrying up and down branches on a mission to unearth nourishing returns in the face of adversity, a reawakening of the rewards of stick-with-it-ness and persistence.
From the pond, so calm and serene despite successive ripples of disturbance, the wisdom of steadiness and going with the flow.
From the stones, almighty in their enduring heaviness, the cue to go deep and treat life’s precious circumstances with the gravitas they deserve.
From the soft flutter of snowflakes on nose, rain on cheeks and pure air coursing through lungs, a triumvirate of element inspired sensations continually reinforcing the miracles of life, living creatures and nature in all its majesty.
Clearly, I had forged some solid and enlightening relationships, ever-marveling at their natural wonders.
But with this new intimacy founded in the presence of the horrors the pandemic was raining on humanity, I couldn’t help but go from detached sidelines supporter of the environment and fate of the planet to a hands on one, fraught with a passionate mother style concern for its future and well-being (now regularly consuming the words and shares of great ecologists and conservationists like Al Gore with ferocity) embracing as many planet friendly practices as possible (i.e., vowing to rid myself of all animal-based clothing and accessories soonest while adopting as close to a Vegan lifestyle as I could manage), spirits in this context buoyed solely by one of the few silver linings of the quarantine: the much-needed break we had bestowed on this magnificent earth, allowing her to exhale and thrive, free at least for a time, from our constant abuse, exploitation, destruction.
I also couldn’t stop thinking about a rather logical if not slightly out there proposition that had come to me one day on a walk through a protected park: Perhaps part – if not all – of the reason we’re living through this veritable nightmare, the magnitude of which we hadn’t experienced as a civilization in a hundred years, had more than a little karmic sumpin to do with the unconscionable and systemic decimation of our natural surroundings.
Just maybe Mother Earth had finally had enough and this was her imitable way of announcing the tables had turned: After generations of our ravaging forests and lands for our own gains and enrichment, encroaching on animal terrain and territory, mistreating and slaughtering countless in that kingdom for pleasure and gratification, we were now the frightened targets in cages, movements completely restricted, at the mercy of a brutal and menacing foe we were no match for who inflicted extreme pain and suffering at whim, slaughtering indiscriminately.
Food for thought, non?
Hope you enjoyed this latest lesson … Happy spring where yes, hope springs eternal!
As always, I welcome and value your feedback. For more, see the health and wellbeing section here and check out the companion material on Social Media, especially Instagram.