I step outside when the morning light shines on the red leaves of the sweet gum tree at just the right angle. I take several pictures, breathing in the cool, drier air of late fall. I smile at the simplicity and beauty around me, looking around for more signs of fall to photograph.
In winter I slip on hat, coat, boots, and gloves with finger covers to photograph an icy landscape. The sunlight glistens on newly budding tips encased in see-through coldness. New life held in suspense for a day. My footsteps make a crunching sound as I walk in the yard capturing images of winter.
“The crocuses are up,” I shout, putting my car in park before I leave the driveway.
I walk over to the first signs of new life in young spring and take pictures. These tiny pods hold the promise of color and fragrance, often emerging while snow still covers the ground. I hear inner cheers for the small piece of life pushing up through the earth.
When the columbine flowers finally show up during summer, I wait for the shadows to photograph the pastel color. Something fascinates me about these flowers that grow from such tiny black seeds scattered randomly on top of the soil. Maybe it’s the surprise of the color which can change each year, or the annual appearance of blooms with no care for the seeds on the ground.
All around me the natural world asserts the constancy of change.
I try to ignore that reality when it comes to planning my day, as if my life exists separate from the natural world. I have difficulty appreciating the unexpected adjustments in my plan. Today, ice on the windshield means an extra five minutes before departure. In just one minute my feelings change from excitement about the day to anxiety about meeting timelines. My jaw tightens.
I take a deep breath of cold air and see a cloud in front of me when I exhale. Pausing with the ice scraper in hand, I notice patterns created by the ice crystals on the glass. I feel my feet as I shift my weight leaning toward the car, then away as I clear the ice. My shoulders feel strong.
In one short minute I feel part of the natural world around me.
When unexpected adjustments need to be made to your time table for the day.
- Pause to notice your feelings and thoughts.
- What part(s) of your body have become tense?
- Take a breath in feeling the temperature of the air.
- Experience the exhale fully.
- Can you see yourself as a natural part of the scene in which you are standing or sitting?