In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautiful birds …
Beautiful joyful birds …
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty before me, behind me,
above me, all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty lively, may I walk
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.
In the mountains of North Carolina, walking in beauty is the simplest thing one can do. Surrounded by luscious green trees and abundant colorful flowers, nature is vibrant in the spring, summer, and fall. Even when those of us who live here feel bored or depressed, a walk in the forest can lift us up.
The Physical Gifts Of Nature
We have become a culture surrounded by things. We fill our homes with paintings, nick-knacks, computers, and lovely objects so that we feel at home with the memories they invoke and they communicate to others who we are and what our status is.
Years ago, when I was living alone and making little money as a teacher, I couldn’t afford anything I didn’t absolutely need. Despite that, I needed to make my apartment feel like my home, so I decorated it with the only things I could afford – items from nature and cheap containers. I found bird feathers in the yard. At the beach, there were piles of colorful shells, and as I hiked in the mountains, I gathered small rocks and quartz.
Although my home is now a house full of purchased items, paintings, posters, and artsy clay bowls, I use the baskets I bought in Africa to display my rocks and shells, pine cones and bird feathers. I especially appreciate these beauties on a winter day when there is snow on the ground and I’ve been cooped up too long. Their beauty and the remembrance of the joy I felt in finding them brightens my day.
When spring and summer come, they offer us more natural beauties, such as the brilliant blue hydrangeas, golden black-eyed Susan’s, vivid purple iris, and multiple colors of roses. Not only may we enjoy these when we are out-of-doors, we can pick them and liven the house with their fragrance and beauty.
Many people also plant flowers and vegetables this time of year, but what else are we planting, especially in our minds?
When life becomes especially challenging, we can become rooted in its negative aspects to the point that we become depressed or unable to function well. At this time, we need to remember that this pain can be relieved to some extent like physical pain. When our body aches, we may do the easy thing and take a medication or supplement that soothes the discomfort, but nature can be a healing remedy too.
The Healing Gift of Mother Nature
When life becomes a mental or emotional burden, we may lift that burden or at least lessen it by walking in beauty and taking in the gifts it offers. We may step outside to let bright sun warm and wash us with it’s golden light. At sunset, we can drive to the parkway and watch the sun splash brilliant orange and red behind the darkening mountains. Or we may choose to walk barefoot over the grass in the yard or a park and feel the precious earth supporting us from below.
By feeding our senses with beauty and being in the moment to see, smell, and feel the gifts of nature, it becomes easier to return to caring for a sick child or parent, struggling with low finances, or settling for only virtual access to our friends and relatives. Walking in nature’s beauty can help heal the insecurity we feel and restore the joy we have momentarily lost.
© 2020 Georganne Spruce
The first article here is about my dear friend Jerry who passed away in 2018. Of all the people I’ve know he was the one who lived closest with nature.