Three weeks ago I committed to a new habit; a daily hour day walk along the American River Parkway and so far, so good. Sometimes I listen to music but I’m starting to feel ripped off because then I’m not in tune with my surroundings. So today I walked in the raw – no headphones 🎧 , no music 🎵– present to my surroundings.
As I walked in the raw, I saw a grandmother with her 18-month-old (that’s a guess) granddaughter (also a guess), blond hair, steel blue eyes, pink dress, splattered with yellow daisies, and tiny pink clogs. I loved watching this grandmother. She watched and talked patiently as the little girl dawdled, stopped to pick up a small stick and poked it in the dirt—fascinated by the whole ordeal. I loved how she let the little girl play and explore the curious world around her.
Sites along the American River
About 1 mile into my walk I came to a large grassy picnic area, spotted with green leafy towering trees and (occasionally) wild turkeys. It’s there I first spot the rippling blue-grey and dark green river, and the sun’s angle shows off the sparkling ripples of the American River.
As I walk in the raw, I look at nature. Lots of overgrown grass, brown scrappy looking bushes and towering trees. I see long, green blades of grass popping out here and there in the wilted grass. I see branches of green leaves in patches of dried up bushes. And I wonder…what keeps the few alive when the others have dried up? Why do some plants, grass, and bushes die in the summer and some still hang on for dear life?
Resilience, nature and human beings
I compared the resilience of nature to human beings. Why do some people give up on a marriage, an education, stay in a soul sucking career, exercise, health, themselves? Why do they wither and die in times of difficulty? And why do others fight for their marriage, quit the job, finish the degree, and fight for their health? Are they like the green plants and bushes that hang on during those hard times?
But I thought about the seasons and how maybe it wasn’t so healthy for those green bushes to hang on. Do you need to let go and pass through each unique season of your life?
- Summer is about long hot days, sunshine, fun, warm evenings, relaxing by the water and pushing our troubles away.
- Fall is nature’s last hoorah. Leaves don their brilliant symphony of colors: firey orange and yellows, cherry reds, and honey browns.
- Winter is when nature turns brown, trees go bare, and skies are a dull grey. It rains, snows, the wind blows, thunder storms that sound like the deafening beat of drums, hurricanes, and tornados. Nature is unclad and we hibernate.
- And then comes spring — a time of rebirth. You experience verdant, leafy trees, flamboyant flowers with their savory smells wafting to your nose. Days are warm and sunny; you have a bounce in your step and feel new energy and a hope for life all over again.
Are you seasonal or resilient?
So, are you seasonal, resilient or both? Do you wither and die for half of the year and come to life in the spring? Or do you hold out all year like those green plants hanging on in the dry forest? Ready to face any challenge– standing tall throughout the seasons. I couldn’t really decide because I liked both of the theories. I like the idea of standing tall and being resilient no matter what the season. But, I also like the idea of experiencing all the emotional seasons of life.
But mostly I like the idea of reflection in nature—in the raw (no headphones, no music, podcasts, etc.,) I love where my mind goes when I stay present to nature. I’m also getting to know some of the “regulars” who walk about the same time I do. As I walked in the raw I come up with a great idea. I’m walking 10 miles this Saturday and I’m dedicating it to all women who have or have had breast cancer. You’ll hear all about it in next week’s post so stay tuned.
Make sure to leave a comment below or email me and tell me if you’re resilient, seasonal or both.
Until next week from my pen🖊 to your heart ❤️– Kathy