I realized the other day just how greedy and specific I am about which aspect, features, species, qualities in the natural world I need in order to feel really nourished.
The question I’d conjured to ask somebody was:
What landscape makes you feel really good?
It occurred to me that I should attempt to answer the question myself before asking it of someone else. I also remembered that as such a close-ended question, I was not leaving the door of exploration very wide open.
As I began to respond to this question – all the while assuming I had a short, concise answer (for I’ve mulled this over for decades, honing and teasing out through trial and error and living in diverse geographic regions, just what types of places “work” for me and which ones don't) - I heard this coming out of my mouth:
Deciduous and coniferous trees together.
With tides and movement.
Rocky places and sandy ones.
And hills, or mountains.
Not a pancake-flat landscape.
Diversity of creatures – wild and tame.
Open space and cozy nooks.
With some semblance of four seasons.
But not an amply snowy, icy winter or summers that are too hot or too long.
And I continued on like this for a few paragraphs. Until I stopped short.
It’s biodiversity that thrills me: combinations of geography, creatures, land features, climate. I’ve been as at home on a eucalyptus-covered university campus in Canberra, Australia as I’ve been cross-country skiing in New Hampshire. I’ve felt as nourished by a treesy path in autumn – in any number of U.S. states - as I’ve been by peering into the spiraling folds of a calla lily.
Nature can hold us, empower us, motivate and inspire us. And so often it does so in rich textures of intersection, interaction, interdependence, and interrelationship.
It’s not that one thing in nature or the singular landscape, is it? It’s the whole, blessed, beautiful Earth!
All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2018 JenniferJWilhoit/TEALarbor stories. AllRightsReserved."