I spent the entirety of last week and weekend reading the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, including Nature. I know, I know. You’re feeling sorry for me. I get it… I felt sorry for me too.
I can say that after a week of reading this guy’s thoughts and listening to two lectures on his work- I have grown an appreciation for him. And think that there’s some truth hidden under some… “interesting” ideas.
Nature. I admit that I wasn’t much of an “outdoorsy” gal as a child. I would rather stay inside and read a book than play outside. And getting dirty just wasn’t my thing. I still don’t like getting dirty, and prefer “glam”ping to camping. But I’m learning to see the outside in a whole different light. While I don’t find that nature brings my soul into a transcendent place like my friend Ralph Waldo, I have found, especially recently, that it can be healing. If you’re a person of faith, like I am, you know that God is a God of creating, of healing, of resurrecting what’s been killed off. So it makes sense that the world around us would mirror that.
I have no qualms in sharing that I’ve had many moments throughout this spring and summer and now fall in which I’ve felt completely overwhelmed. In a previous post, I talked about when things get too big, I try to find joy in things that are small. The cool thing about nature is that at the same time it is both really big and really small.
The tiniest flower to the Grand Canyon. A leaf turning red to Niagra Falls.
This bigness and this smallness- they remind me that I’m not all there is. Nature is undeterred by my problems.
The world around us keeps moving, it keeps growing, the sun keeps shining, and the clouds keep forming. The rain keeps falling, the flowers keep blooming, and the trees keep losing their leaves and creating new ones.
There’s peace in that. Peace that comes from knowing there is something ultimately greater than my problems. That means that my troubles are not infinite. Troubles are finite.
So I step outside. Breathe in the fresh air. The air that I didn’t purchase from the power company. I see changing colors and growing grass (or if you’re a Vegas native you search high and low for non-turf grass that actually grows!). I run around with puppies and they explore the fascinating universe right along with me.
I’m trying to notice nature more. I want to “stop and smell the roses”. Because you know what happens when you smell those roses?! You pause. You breathe deeply. You smile.
So I’m going to step away from my computer now. I’m going to step outside and look and listen, even if it be for only a few minutes. I know that I will come back inside a better person. A happier, calmer, smiley-er person.
“Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you.” Matthew 6:28-30