And so here we are…January, when many people have started to renew, refresh, and rewrite their resolutions. This prominent time of year that marks the cycle of trying to get into shape, renewing friendships and cleaning out the old so we can enjoy the new. Nature does not follow this calendar that we so love. It is in constant motion to renew, recycle and replenish itself.
All year long plants and animals are busy helping leaves decompose into valuable nutrients that can be used to grow new resources. Usually this happens quite nicely without the help of human interaction. Leaves fall, bacteria begin to break down some of its components, and worms chew away at the leaves and digest them into usable parts so soil becomes richer. Seeds drop and plunge into the new soft piles of earth and begin to sprout. Roots sink in and anchor themselves around this valuable resource that was left behind from piles of leaves that have been broken down. Strong trunks begin to form and branches reach out to the sun for more energy.
The woods are alive. They recycle each and every day without people intervening. Each animal, plant, insect and bacteria have an important role in making their community thrive. Left alone the forest develops and matures into a grandiose inviting place. A place where we can go and enjoy ourselves by exploring and taking in the beauty around us.
Walking through the woods is a full sensory experience. The crunching of the leaves beneath our feet. The spongy spring of the fresh earth recycled off the beaten path, rejuvenates us as we stroll along. The smell of crisp morning air and cool clean breezes that bring the earth smells right to us, filling our lungs with the purity of nature. The sounds of birds singing and the rustling of the left over leaves that still cling to the trees calm us as we walk. The blue sky still visible through the naked tree tops fills our hearts with hope and inspiration. While chattering squirrels bring us back to the reality that we need to protect these places as we are visitors that need these calm, quiet, open spaces. This is our role in nature, to protect.
Do we have to wait until January to step outside and rejuvenate our souls? No, nature invites us daily to step into its secret places and explore. Nature: the forest, beach, streams call to us daily to step out for an adventure, to become aware of all those components of nature around you that are working hard to keep these places sacred. Observe the bee visiting the flowers, listen to its wings hum. Step into the cool stream and watch for crayfish crawling among the rocky bottom as the stream soothes your tired feet that have pounded the payment all day. Just sit with a cup of coffee in the early morning, watch the sun rise and listen to the birds celebrate the new day, then celebrate with them as your body is refreshed from the simple start to your morning. Make your daily routine one to renew, refresh and relax – don’t wait until every January to do so. What better way to renew friendships then a walk in the woods? A kayak trip? A shared cup of coffee while listening to the sounds of nature around you? All of this is good for the soul, replenishes the spirit and calms the mind. Nature provides an everyday opportunity to renew, refresh and replenish our outlook on the day. Take advantage of it. Enjoy it, immerse yourself in it. January is such a long time to wait to make resolutions. Why wait? Nature constantly invites us to slow down and refresh our minds and attitudes daily.