Nature is My Touchstone

The usual stressors of life are sometimes enough to bring me to a screeching halt. I have those moments when life is moving so fast that I must stop and take the time to breathe. But usually I muddle through like everyone else. 

We all do it everyday,  balancing work and family, fitting creative time in amongst the necessities… its never easy.  But when emotionally rough stuff pops up in the middle of the usual crazy routine, the little things get magnified and the big things feel even more paralyzing. 

I understand only too well the whirlpool of worry and concern that can swirl and spin as it begins to suck every bit of energy from my soul. I’ve heard the internal questioning that whispers inelegantly:  “how can I possibly lift the covers and face another day?” .

This week has been like that for me. 

But it is in those times especially that I turn to nature.

Being in nature brings me back to center, where I can once again focus, and re-evaluate.  

Woods, fields, streams and mountains are my touchstones to normalcy. 

In stressful times I need to deeply inhale the air outside of these four walls.

In uncertain times I need to feel the muddy, mossy, solid earth under my feet.

In helpless times I need to listen to the wind, feel it on my face and embrace the clarity. 

In overwhelming times I need to put my back up against a giant tree or gaze at a mountain range and remember just how small I am and how little my problems matter in the scheme of things. 

Being in the wild heals me.

The most wonderful thing about being outside with trees and wind and birdsong, is that for me, it is impossible to gaze too far inside of myself. 

In nature there are so many wonders to contemplate that my worries and woes become smaller in comparison.  

Pine and cedar bright and sharp clear my head. 

Sweetgrass elusive and unmistakable, slows my pulse.  

Cawing of crows and birdsong fine tune my senses.  

Animal encounters energize me. 

One by one… step by step, with each leaf crunch and twig snap my problems begin to melt away. 

With slower pulse, a deeper breathing, I begin to feel bliss and thanks for the gift that only nature can teach … the chance to start anew, and try again with each rising sun.