Among the many cool sights we saw during our road trip to Montana in July were two fascinating trees:
One tree is growing near the Bitterroot River and has two ninety-degree angles in its trunk. This tree seems to have specific ideas about what it wants to do and where it wants to go—up, out, and up again.
The other tree is growing in Hell’s Half Acre, and its trunk is swirling every which way. This tree appears to be spontaneous—ready to go every which way.
I’m a cross between both tree styles—I enjoy planned spontaneity. Approximately seventy-percent of what I do is pre-planned. The remaining thirty-percent I block in my planner as free time and spontaneously decide how I’ll use it.
My friend, Shirley Showalter, has a blog whose posts I never miss. Recently she asked, “What do you do when the world seems wrong, and you are sad, lonely, confused, or anxious?”
I responded, “When I’m in a place of discouragement and overwhelm, I submerge myself in nature. In my experience, the two things that people yearn for the most are: (1) to love, (2) to be loved. It’s in nature that I find reassurance for both of these needs.”
Shirley replied, “I would love to read about how love reaches you in nature. It’s easier to feel one’s own love going out, I think, than universal love flowing in. Do you agree? Maybe you will answer this question in a future post!”
Hence, this post was born.
I realize that everyone’s experience is different, and people embrace many different beliefs. This post just happens to be about how nature informs me of love.
Nature has taught me a lot about faith, it helps me to draw near to what many people refer to as God, and others call Goddess, Yahweh, Jehovah, Jesus, Moses, Allah, Krishna, Light, Mohammed, Supreme Being, Buddha, All That Is, Source Energy, Shiva, Universe, Higher Self, Creator, Brahman, Spirit, Mother Earth, Father Sky, the list goes on.
It’s my experience that the name we use isn’t as important as our relationship and interaction.
How does love reach me in nature? When I contemplate earth’s beauty—especially the cycles, the repeated refrains—it touches me deeply, and I feel loved. And in this love, I am recharged. In this love, I find reserves of strength I didn’t know I had. In turn, I’m able to love more deeply.
Len and I are fortunate in that we live a stone’s throw from the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. It’s open year-round, and the admission is free. I can, and do, spend hours at a time in there wandering, looking, sitting on the beautiful benches, and thinking.
“Spring is the time of plans and projects.” ―Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
I feel it. Do you? That itch to empty the house and scrub it from top to bottom. Only putting half of everything back in and donating the rest.
“It’s the time for plans and projects”—what’s at the top of your list?
I live a somewhat Dr. Doolittle life. It seems that no matter where I go, I encounter all types of critters doing interesting things. The most recent example occurred just before the trip we’re currently on.
No sooner had I stepped into the driveway, then two geese landed on the pitch of the garage.
Immediately followed by two more geese landing on the pitch of the house next door.
This two-roofed-goose-incident immediately brought to mind the phrase, “As above, so below.” I have to admit that a quick bit of research was necessary. It revealed:
“As above, so below” is a phrase used most appropriately to discuss the principle of correspondence. This principle embodies the truth that there always exists a correspondence between laws and phenomena on every plane of existence.”
Most recently, my law and corresponding phenomena have been:
Law—Laurie goes outside
Corresponding Phenomena—A rooster in a tree crows at me, ducks line up in a row, and now geese act out the “As above” part of an old adage.
I’m currently traveling home from a speaking engagement at the Write on the Sound writing conference in Edmonds, WA, so I’ve turned comments off for this post. But if I were available to interact, this week’s internal inventory question would be:
[bctt tweet=”What’s your AS ABOVE, SO BELOW?” username=”@TuesWithLaurie”]
We’re fortunate to live within a stone’s throw of the Morrison Knudsen Nature Center. We walk through their peaceful grounds at least once a week. This week I photographed a few ducks lined up on a tree branch in the water. I love the way it turned out. To me it looks like a watercolor painting.
When researching the saying, “Ducks in a row,” I learned something new. I learned that it comes from from ship building. Who knew?!
It turns out that a “duck” is a device that holds the keel in place while building a ship. The first step in building a ship is to get the ducks in straight row thus ensuring a straight keel.
Conversationally speaking, getting one’s ducks in a row means to ensure that all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project.
[bctt tweet=”Are your ducks in a row?” username=”@TuesWithLaurie”]
One of my daily treks along the Boise Greenbelt revealed a new addition—a native plant and pollinator garden.
A posted sign explains:
“As the human population grows, so does our impact on the natural world. Buildings, roadways, and crops crowd out or completely eliminate the natural habitat needed by some species to survive. Pollinators are among those whose numbers are in decline.
“The City of Boise has installed an ‘insect hotel‘ at this location to provide a safe nesting site for insect pollinators. Its proximity to flowering plants ensures an adequate supply of nectar for feeding, and the hotel’s nooks and crevices offer a safe place for rearing offspring.”
In 2017, my sister gave me 1,500 ladybugs for my birthday. They arrived via special delivery with a “hotel.” And while the ladybugs didn’t take up residence in it (they were having too much fun eliminating aphids in the rose bushes), lots of other insects did. We have it located against the carport wall, underneath one of the rosebushes. It looks like a miniature version of the one in the native plant and pollinator garden along the Boise Greenbelt.
Do you, or does your city, take steps to promote native plants and pollinators?
While Len and I were standing in our driveway, our attention was caught by a murder of crows.
“A group of crows is called a ‘murder.’ There are several different explanations for the origin of this term, mostly based on old folk tales and superstitions. For instance, there is a folktale that rows will gather and decide the capital fate of another crow.”
It was pretty cool to watch them land in the bare tree branches and listen to the cacophony of cawing.
Click the “play” button on the video below to hear the murder.
Have you ever seen a/an:
SHREWDNESS of apes
OBSTINACY of buffalo
POUNCE of cats
COALITION of cheetahs
GULP of cormorants
CONVOCATION of eagles
TROUBLING of goldfish
HEDGE of herons
BLOAT of hippos
EXALTATION of larks
LOUNGE of lizards
PARLIAMENT of owls
OSTENTATION of peacocks
TOWER of giraffes
What’s the most recent grouping of animals you’ve seen?
Tick-tock, tick-tock… I can choose to let the demands on my time and attention overwhelm me. Or I can decide to slow down and take a break.
In the midst of my daily calendar, I schedule times for me to stop throughout the day. I have a mindfulness bell on my phone that’s set for specific intervals of my choice. Thank you Sheila Glazov for recommending this App to me. The sound of the singing bowl is my signal that It’s Time.
Time for what? You ask.
Time to put my shoulders down and take a deep breath. Time to take Willa for a walk. Time to eat. Time to stretch. Time to be grateful. And time to watch the bees on the hummingbird feeder enjoying the sweetness of life. They teach me how to fully be in a moment without a care about anything else in the world. They teach me that sometimes the greatest joys come in the smallest things. They remind me that life is sweet. It’s especially sweet when I’m fully present, fully aware, fully engaged, and fully enjoying it—joie de vivre!