One quick scan through iPhoto on my laptop and I’d bet you’d guess two things: I’m very close with my very fun (read: crazy) family, and I have a love affair with nature.
I can’t resist the draw of Earth’s grandest displays of beauty: Old Faithful at Yellowstone, sunrises over the Atlantic and sunsets over the Pacific, enormous rainbow-swaddled waterfalls at Yosemite, ice-capped mountains looming over the navy blue waters of Lake Tahoe, the beaten-smooth cliffs of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia.
Yet, I’m also drawn to the tiniest of nature’s miracles: crocuses forcing their way through the snow in early Spring, buds protecting next year’s leaves at the tips of branches, the wildly intricate shape of each snowflake, or each grain of sand, and how at the same time that beauty is both irreplaceably significant and yet infinitely insignificant.
There is magic all around us. And the catch is that we humans are both the recipients of the gift of this magic as well as its stewards. But, what do we do with that sentiment?
As I often discuss with my clients: awareness is the key to everything. So, on this Earth Day, instead of ranting about recycling and composting, or urging you to reduce your consumption, or admonishing you for not knowing that the hill with vent pipes on the side of the highway is a landfill, I’ll just ask you to notice.
Notice the natural world around you. Slow down on your next walk to work and touch the bark of a tree. Feel the silky/rubbery skin of a leaf. Smell the rushing waters of a Spring stream. Then, think back: remember a moment in your life when you felt connected to nature. What did you feel? What did you smell? Taste? Hear? What was that experience like? What did it mean to you? How can you bring that experience back to the present? I’d love to hear your story.
I’ll leave you with this: Happy Earth Day. And the wish for you to slow down enough – even if just for a moment – to appreciate what the Earth is whispering all around you. Listen. Breathe. Reflect. Repeat.