I was struggling all weekend with what to write about for my Monday mailing and I didn’t land upon this topic until this morning when, under an urgent need to run some errands (we were entirely out of cat food), I noticed what has happened outdoors over the last three days – SPRING!
It has been a dreadfully long winter – cold, wet, icy, windy and, until now, it did not seem like all of that would ever melt or recede and allow us to enjoy some beauty that would usually accompany the month of May. And then, today, the woods which were filled with stick-trees just days ago are budding out in yellows and greens – soon, there will be actual leaves!
The forsythia in my own yard is bright yellow with blooms, something that looked as if it would never occur in 2022 – and yet it has, seemingly overnight! And there are daffodils are shining like stars in the neighborhood! What a glorious morning it was – even though it rained!
In Minnesota, this beautiful transformation has taken a very long time to arrive and, now that it has begun, it is something that can lift the spirits, warm the heart, and ignite a spirit of gratitude in even the most hardened curmudgeon.
The natural world that surrounds us is an essential part of our health and wellbeing. Not only do we rely on the gifts of nature to sustain us – consuming carbon, renewing our rivers and streams, and marvelously photosynthesizing so we can see beauty and enjoy a nutritious salad – but we look to nature to calm our spirits, to lower our blood-pressure readings and relieve our pent-up anxieties. It’s true, we rely on nature to do so very much for us. And, graciously, it comes through – in spite of a Global Warming Crisis and bitterly long winters.
When we realize the bounty that nature shares with us, whether we’re gardeners or merely spectators (as I am), it is easy to assume we deserve to be surrounded by beauty, that we’re entitled to the glory that is spring or that we’re supposed to be blessed with such abundance. It is the natural course of things, yes, but we’ve done a lot to alter the balance of nature and not often for the better.
We’ve forced healthy habitats into smaller and smaller portions of the planet so we can build our cities and neighborhoods. We’ve cut down the forests (especially the rainforests) in the pursuit of resources that allow us to line our pockets. And we’ve squandered our agricultural gifts – as we see it in the war raged upon Ukraine – making it even more challenging to plan for a harvest that will adequately feed the world. The Earth wants to bless us, and we continually get in her way!
This spring, as you walk in the beauty found in your neighborhood, take a moment to be grateful. Bless the Earth and all that she brings forth offering both beauty and benefits. Bless the rains that resupply our waterways and relieve our long-standing drought. Honor the grasslands and marshes that filter our water and strengthen the ecosystem.
This bounty is not borne of efforts we’ve delivered – although there are those among us working for such preservation – but instead these are the gifts of the natural world to all of us who have opportunity to enjoy them.
- I’m wishing you a beautiful SPRING, a bountiful season of warmth and light.
- I am wishing you a heart of gratitude and peace.
- I’m wishing you an opportunity to re-set your thinking with deep appreciation for the many wonders we rarely work for, but merely enjoy, thanks to the gifts of the natural world.