Nature keeps giving
even when it seems to take away.
As I raked the dried pine needles into clumps, I pondered the gift nature provided.
Then I remembered how I detested the needles that fell on the driveway of our previous home. They seemed anything but a gift as I raked and stuffed them into plastic bags.
How did what I once viewed as a nuisance transform into an offering from nature to notice and accept?
Was it wisdom? The likely answer is that living near a lake with open skies, wildlife, and time made me aware of the wonders in front of me.
When we moved into our home, the lake was a promise, a 30-acre depression in the landscape waiting for rain or magic to fill the hole. And the rain came. Water, fish, fowl, even beavers found a refuge for food and shelter. While humans and machines dug a hole, nature made it come alive.
Then came the severe drought. No water. Weeds, grasses, and trees took root. The shoreline now had sapling pine trees.
We noticed. Cleared the weeds and nurtured the trees. They grew, creating shade and protection for the deer, herons, rabbits, birds, and squirrels.
The cycle of rain and drought continues, which brings us back to the beginning of this story—pine needles. Those pine trees now provide material to cover my gardens, hold in moisture, and keep down the weeds. Nature’s gift to me.
We were devastated when the first severe drought sucked all the life out of the lake, leaving us nothing more than a barren, sandy hole. But Mother Nature saw an opportunity.
I now see the ebb and flow of seasons and weather patterns, and observe in awe my co-inhabitants in this space I call home.
Deer run across our lawn to get a drink in the lake or hide in the brush and trees.
Wild flowers pop up along the lake. We planted wildflower seeds this fall, hoping to attract more bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Unexpected wonders also arrive, like the flock of white pelicans. You never know what you will find along the shore, in the water, or nestled in the trees.
Gifts come in many sizes and forms. No matter where you live, I’m guessing that if you look carefully, you will also find evidence of nature’s endless bounty. Notice, cherish, and protect the wonder of this planet.
If only I could figure out how moles serve us. Today, I see only mounds of dirt sprinkled across the front lawn.
One day, the Bluebirds came to play.
Robin Wall Kimmerer and the Gifts of Mother Nature.
“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”
—Robin Wall Kimmerer
Find a little wonder this week in whatever nature surrounds you.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to forward this weekly note to someone who would enjoy a few words of inspiration. And I always welcome your thoughts, so, please do . . .
If a friend forwarded this email to you, and you want more, you can sign up below.