Nature’s Gifts

The end of my favorite news program, CBS Sunday Morning, always concludes with a “Moment of Nature.”  The two-minute video clips vary from melting snow near a mountain stream to buzzing bees in a field of wildflowers.  I find myself so captivated by these serene nature scenes that, I must admit, I have found myself streaming “Moments of Nature” in my classroom, in an effort to set a peaceful tone for my students. At first, they balked at the seemingly silent videos, as the only audible sounds were the birds chirping or the wind whistling.  However, by the end of the school year, they were begging for more.

It seems that there is something so universally peaceful about “Moments of Nature,” that the need for more transcends generations.  Think about it; crying babies stop the tears when you step outside the front door on a sunny afternoon.  The sound of cicadas, on a steamy summer evening, can loosen even the most tightly wound person. And the transcendence of a fire-like sunrise is enough to transfer even the most anxious of us from Monday morning to a Zen-like location.

So where can we turn when our minds, bodies, and souls ache for these types of “moments?”  Well friends, look no further than outside your own windows.

Wildlife ~ Whether it is a bird’s nest in a tree, or a family of cardinals in your backyard, the existence of wildlife reminds us of our most precious gift: life.  Creatures big and small embody such magnificent qualities.  Stop and consider their beauty, intelligence, and mystery.

Trees ~ Though I prefer flowering magnolias, the imposing presence of any particular timber can be awakening.  I remember taking hikes with my dad as a kid, and marveling at the roots, the branches, and the markings of individual trees.  Think about it- you have a favorite tree.  Is it the one that turns bright orange in autumn, or the pear tree from your childhood school yard?  Trees are as individual as humans, and we love them for the feelings that they evoke within us.

Sky ~ Perhaps meteorologists can predict detailed descriptions of each sunrise and sunset, but it seems to me, that for most of us, our skyward view is a surprise to us all.   Each morning, I find myself eagerly driving to a clear spot on the road, from which I can distinctly see the fullness of each morning’s sunrise.  From bright blue-grays to indigo-coral, the glory of the sky is one that I cannot foresee, and one that is so easy to enjoy.

I am sure that all of you have recently stopped to marvel at nature’s gifts.  It is difficult not to do so.  But have you considered what you have learned in the process?  An infinite number of individual lessons must exist, but one universal truth stands out~ Humans crave moments of nature.  

How will you capture yours?

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~John Muir

~Think on These Things~




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