by Elizabeth Pass, Cohort VI
for the April 2023 issue of Headwaters Highlights
As Spring comes into full bloom, I think of my recently passed aunt who lived in Albuquerque. Every morning from early spring to late fall she would sit with her coffee on the back patio in the same chair, which was next to a potted hibiscus plant. She would sit for several hours, not reading, writing, or doing anything but sitting and slowly drinking her coffee.
When I was visiting my aunt and uncle one summer, I noticed this repeated activity of hers and asked about it. She told me that every morning she watched her hibiscus plant open. Hibiscus flowers open and close with the sun every day (nyctinasty). She loved how beautiful the flower was, and was amazed that it opened at such a speed that she could watch the flower unfold. For her, it was as if she got to watch the miracle of life every morning.
I thought about it and realized that I also did a similar activity every day. Since COVID, I’ve worked more at home. I would work in the same place every day: on a couch with my laptop next to a large window. As I sit and work on my laptop, I look out the window and see my neighbor’s second-floor backyard roof, downspout, and beyond that, large evergreen trees. Every day throughout the day as I work, I look out the window and watch squirrels run around the roof, drink out of the downspout, and chase each other through the trees.
Like my aunt, being able to connect with nature at the same time and same place gives me a sense of grounding and a feeling of awesomeness in this great web of life.
I encourage you to look at the daily activities you consistently repeat, for example, drinking coffee/tea, reading the news, meditating, or walking your dog. Find an activity you know you will do daily (or almost daily) that will put you where you see the same view of nature or puts you in the same natural environment. You may already do this daily activity within this view of nature (as I do), but the idea is to become aware (as I did after watching and talking to my aunt), to live in its presence each day while you do your activity. I hope you find an activity coupled with nature and begin to see the rewards of connecting the two. Welcome in Spring!
– Elizabeth Pass, Cohort VI, for the April 2023 edition of Headwaters Highlights