Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Everyday Appreciation

wildly floppy tulips—bright orange with watermelon stripes, 
an upright sprig of forsythia up the center—golden blossoms with tawny stem, 
rigid tulips—lipstick pink, cream, solid red—rounding out the center,
cuttings of myrtle and lemon leaf—so green in late winter they bring tears of longing to the eyes

how can such a simple flower arrangement, though wildly splayed in playful splendor, be the source of such joy and delight?

meditating before sleep—with a focus on exhalations or a purring cat strewn across my back or 
calm like waves of relief in the absence of thought,
awakening fresh—the first awareness: one of relief or gratitude for continued health or 
excitement about another dawn to inspire peace and compassion in each everyday 

how can these basic acts, though consciously taken, be the source of such inner wellbeing?

that robin with a wriggling, fat worm in his bill who stayed on the ground long enough for me to 
take his portrait,
or the robin who returned to sit on the same twig at the top of the tree so many times the other 
day that every time I looked out the window she was there—as if she’d never flown off in 
between my out-glances
or the flicker who has flown around the yard, darting at the window, but who has not yet started 
the annual spring ruckus of hammering the metal drainpipe outside my office window

how can these ordinary sights—persistently repetitive from season to season—be the source of such compelling curiosity and interest?

*          *          *

Walking with my friend in the nature reserve yesterday, I noticed on the ground a huge swath of thick moss—two feet by five inches and two inches thick. As I rubbed my hand along the length of it, I saw how perfectly limb-shaped it was underneath; apparently it had blown off one of the branches above after growing on and molding itself to the tree bough for a considerable period.  

I was smitten with this cozy, healthy bed of moss. I could not take it with me as it belongs in the reserve. I could not lie down and nap in it as it was bed-size for a squirrel. 

So, instead, I wore it – along one arm, up around my shoulder, across the back of my neck. Half of a “stole,” my friend’s word for the adornment it made. I wore that moss and felt pretty. At home. So at one with

Me: an everyday visitor to the local reserve.
The moss: an everyday presence on our island.
The appreciation: an everyday act of noticing, respecting, thanking. 
Flower colors. Meditation, breath. Cat. Relief and gratitude. Robins, a flicker, moss. 

Each day presents so many opportunities for everyday appreciation. 

All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."