July 19, 2020: The HeArt of Discovery
To see a World in a Grain of Sand.
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower.
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.
And Eternity in an hour.William Blake
While the world news continues to spin tales of daily catastrophes, political shenanigans and economic doomsayers, I find solace in the ever-changing stories of the natural world. Since the onset of the pandemic, we’ve had to make significant changes to the world as we knew it. Our normal routines were suspended, social activities restricted, and venturing out to public places became a choice limited to essential needs.
One activity that has sustained us during this difficult and unprecedented time, is to head out, weather permitting, on daily meanders. While recognizing the benefits of exercise during stressful times. it also gives us a focus to seek out what was happening in the natural world. We find comfort greeting the blooms of returning wildflowers. The songs of warblers back from Winter migrations, renew again the awe over the long, difficult journeys these tiny feathered creatures take each year. Daily mini-lessons of the vagaries of life and glimpses of beauty restore a sense of calm to our souls. Observing how a tree wraps its roots over a boulder to reach the soil below, reminds us of the power of perseverance. Raspberry bushes bearing both the emerging blossoms, and eventual berries, vividly represent the passages of life. Life does go on despite its many challenges.
We have also learned, when actively seeking beauty, it seems to find us. While our brains are filled with chatter, we become distracted and focused on future concerns, or reiterating past events. But when our eyes, ears and hearts are fine-tuned for the wonder in our life, the cacophony of mental noise subsides. We’re also finding that the more we look, the more we actually discover, inviting us to take closer looks at this natural world that blooms and evolves around us. By taking the time to closely photograph some of my favorite wildflowers, I noticed for the first time Shinleaf’s sweet scent is reminiscent of lily of the valley and the fragrance of Milkweed blossoms is that of lilacs. Little daily discoveries add to the joy of being in nature.
Whether it’s waving grass tassels shimmering with golden light, the sweetness of a newly picked raspberry, or the lyrical song of the wood thrush, each natural encounter is a gift for our modern world weary souls.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read our Weekly Wandering’s Blog. Please feel free to share it with someone who might find it meaningful. We welcome your comments and thoughts.