Day 15: Sit Quietly in Nature

We’re halfway through the challenge!
Congratulations on making it this far! If you haven’t been able to complete every challenge, it’s ok. Just join me whenever you can. I, myself, have fallen a day behind on writing, but I’ll catch up!

So Day 15 … What a lovely challenge! Maybe my favorite so far.

For most of my life, the ocean was my place to connect with nature. So beautiful, so powerful, so mysterious. It awed and inspired me. If I was having a bad day, I’d go down to the beach and watch the waves and run my fingers and toes through the sand and remember how insignificant my problems were in the scheme of the universe. The ocean gave me perspective.

But then I moved to the Sierra mountains. And that’s when I fell deeply in love with trees.

Trees bring me peace in a way the ocean never could. Maybe it’s a feeling of connection with both the earth and sky? I don’t know, but trees heal me.

John Muir, who had a profound connection with the Sierras, wrote: “I never saw a discontented tree.  They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.  They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!”

I think that explains it. Representing both stability and freedom. Exuding life-giving energy. Trees rock. So, even though I live on an island surrounded by a gorgeous sea, I chose to sit with trees for this challenge.

I found a small forest and closed my eyes to listen to the language of the woods. Birds — at least three different kinds — calling back and forth. Bugs — more distracting than peaceful — scratching and buzzing around.  A soft wind asking me to open my eyes and watch the leaves dance. And then, with eyes open, I studied the sunlight and admired how it plays beneath the forest’s canopy. Every part of my body smiled.

Henry David Thoreau said, “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” And I have to agree.

I’d love to hear how time in nature affects you.

Day 16: Write Down Your Happiest Memory
To see what else is coming up, check the 30-day Challenge List .

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4 thoughts on “Day 15: Sit Quietly in Nature

  1. This challenge was easy for me, since I’m at the lake. I start every morning (when it’s not too cold) in my zero gravity recliner on the screened porch. From there, I watch the trees, listen to the birds and hear the lake sounds. Yesterday, the morning was breezy. The trees had plenty of motion and the wind through them caused the leaves to sing their special song. The birds joined in the chorus, accompanied by the sound of the lake, thumping against the sea wall. Each day the composition changes. Sometimes it is joined by the sound of rain falling through the trees. Changing sky conditions add to the visual effects. It always brings me a sense of peace to watch and listen to nature from the porch. Maybe that is why the lake is my favorite place.

  2. Love the ocean, beaches, tide pools and watching waves channel their energy into small crevices in the rock and shoot sky high during a storm.

    Sitting on top of Mekissa Coray Peak above Silver Lake, feeling the wind, feeling the warmth of the sun, noticing the tired muscles while resting my back on a slab of granite and watching the hawks and eagles in the vast expanse of sky from Tahoe to Yosemite …. Refreshing.

    But no. I did not do either. The back yard offered up it’s own interesting adventures. Who would think aphids on the bottom of plum tree leaves would be interesting? Ahhhh, but what’s this? There are so many more ladybug larvae this year too, feasting on those aphids. Yum. And red headed hummingbirds zipping through the air, stopping on a dime, and off again. Those squirrels are at it again too. Mean competition for the budding fruit on the trees….. Someone said they (the squirrels) taste like chicken….. That big cat in the brush might know! All those tiny things, spiders and snails and salamanders and…. Of course long ant trails going on and on. A boyhood friend recently said something like, “What are you looking at that stuff for? Grow up!”. So sad that he missed the point.

  3. I remember my first time in the Sierras; a family trip to Yosemite. Only twelve and raised with never a mention of religion in the home I got out of the car, looked around and thought, “Oh. This is what people mean by ‘feeling closer to God’.” I’ve always felt most at home in the mountains since. I’m overdue for a mountain retreat – blocked at every turn by the responsibilities of parenthood. But it’s coming. Very soon.

    Even as a boy I was aware of feeling better when I returned from a trip to the mountains. But as I’ve gotten older, I realize it’s more than that. I am better coming off the mountain than I was going up.

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