Timeless Spirit Logo ARTICLE

A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. November's Theme: "Celebrate"
Volume 4 Issue 1 ISSN# 1708-3265
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Celebrate Nature
by Jennifer Danner

Whenever I get a spare moment, in between a full-time job, caring for my pets, family, and creating artwork, I go for a walk in the woods. We are fortunate to live on a nice, 300-acre spread; some of it is farmland, where hay and corn are grown, but a large portion is pretty-much unspoiled woodlands. It is classic New York deciduous forest; conifers, maple, the occasional natural grove of gnarled apple trees. A roadway of streams, creeks and small ponds networks the whole thing. A deer will spook off to your right through the trees; a hawk will glide silently above you. A small wood frog will dodge your boot toe. Watch out; a gossamer spider's web graces your face as you duck in between two thin sapling trees.

Everywhere I look in these woods, there is a new sight to behold. Even if I had just walked this deer path yesterday, there is bound to be something new; there could be a new set of mountain lion tracks where I had walked hours before. Or maybe a newly fallen pine which is blocking my path, causing me to need to make a detour which leads me into another direction, making me realize just how nice the light looks reflecting off of the nearby stream at this time of day.

Now, I know for much of the year, this will be a snow-covered tundra-like expanse of space. I wish I could preserve, celebrate, and enjoy the way it feels in, say, a smoky summer evening; if it were not so bug-ridden, I could easily just live in the woods, making a bed of fir needles, a sink carved out of a springy stream, and a table of fallen log.

How to celebrate the beauty of nature, every day? Take some home with you. I do not mean stealing large amounts of rocks or wood from a national park. I don't condone stripping our natural preserves of wood until they are dead reflections of their former selves. No, what I mean is this: take a nice relaxing walk in a natural setting; be it the beach, the swamp, or even your own backyard, and find something that speaks to you. A turkey feather; a unique stone; maybe even a pine cone to place back at home on your mantel.

I think simply taking a walk in our natural world, has immeasurable effects on our psyche, in a very positive way. I can think of no better atmosphere for meditation, prayer, or other reflective thinking than alone in a natural setting. Whether it's the frozen silence of the forest a half hour before dawn, or the white noise of a babbling brook, I guarantee your body will almost instinctively set to a calmer, more peaceful feeling than you had in your car in traffic this morning!

So many people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in decorating their homes with pricey items; I feel more at home here in our old farmhouse, where I am surrounded by natural artifacts; slate stones, animal skulls and feathers, antlers, and even plants adorn this place, and I like to say they bring a tiny bit of the forest's somber peace indoors.

So many people are cut off from the natural world, that their homes are completely synthetic looking; sure, you could eat off of every surface, but is that necessary? I love celebrating nature in my own home, in the manner suggested in this article; just remember, don't leave anything behind in the wilderness to suggest you were there!

Jennifer Danner lives in rural Western New York. She is an avid nature lover, and has many pets, including horses, fish, snakes, and a cat. She works fulltime at a desk job but loves painting, drawing, and ATVing in her spare time.

"Art by Ginevive" offering commisioned paintings, computer designed business logos, animal drawings and paintings. Contact her via email.

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