Find Your Joy in Nature
Thinking About Joy for this Christmas season.
One sure way to find joy is to experience nature. There are many ways to do this. Do it your way. I happen to love gardens. Others like hiking in the mountains. You may like to swim in the ocean. Fishing settles frayed nerves of some and others enjoy simply listening to the waves on the seashore. I’m not a great outdoors person but I do enjoy time away from the cares of the day-to-day worries. And I’m always glad that I did when I get outside and enjoy nature. One of my favorite ways to soak up nature is to sit and meditate on large boulders by a rushing stream. Nature has a way of giving me perspective on life’s circumstances.
“We gain distance. What does this individual event or phase in my life mean in the larger picture of millions of people or years of life on this earth? We can give ourselves over to the natural framework of life and see our circumstance against the larger continuity of life and death, plenty and hardship. It may not change the circumstances we struggle with, but it can restore breathing space again.” Mark Sisson, “Spiritual Encounters in Nature” October 27, 2011
During a particularly difficult time in my life I started taking walks after work with a friend. It reduced the stress and gave me something to look forward to each day. It’s true that we find it easier to locate beautiful spots while on vacation and yet we all live under the same starry sky. We can see the clouds, sunrise and sunset. We can see the full moon. I live in a not-so-lovely part of the U.S. and we have parks and some picturesque marshes if we care to look. We certainly can grow beautiful flowers in our damp climate. You can find a way to experience the world outside your doors.
“Nature brims with the miracle of life—get outside and soak it in. Walk through a park listening for birds, watch clouds in a robin’s-egg-blue sky, go barefoot in lush grass, skip stones. Stop to smell those roses, and while you’re at it, buy some fresh flowers for the house.” Better Homes and Gardens
When I was a child I remember still the first bare-foot days walking on the thick uncut grass. We played outdoors every day that it wasn’t raining. We climbed trees. We gathered up the cut grass and made designs that came clear when the cut grass died and turned brown against the green grass below. I’m a tough old bird now and I wonder if children play outside anymore?
What a joy it is to feel the soft, springy earth under my feet once more,
to follow grassy roads that lead to ferny brooks
where I can bathe my fingers in a cataract of rippling notes,
or to clamber over a stone wall into green fields that
tumble and roll and climb in riotous gladness! – Helen Keller
Give nature a try and let me know if it brings you joy.
I raised three children as a single mother before I remarried. I have experienced the potholes, pests, and perils of being the single head-of-household. As an educator in regular and special education for twenty years I know a great deal about child development and how to handle kids. I am the founder of SMORE for Women, a nonprofit whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, and Empowered. I’m also a Certified Professional Coach and my stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. My book, Living Learning Loving is available on Amazon.
It is because of the very memories of my childhood, days spent mowing baseball diamonds into the thick pine straw of the neighbor park, or spinning until the sky above became one with trees on my nana’s sole swing, that I urge my child to play outside…play until the streetlamps beckon her home. I believe God put me in a wonderful neighborhood, full of like-minded mother’s, whom believe the same.
Isn’t it something how some of our best memories come from experience with nature? Love yours. I didn’t know about the baseball diamonds in the pine straw.