I am a cautious user of Facebook, and seldom participate in the many challenges and re-posting requests that are abundant. However, a few days ago, a friend of mine “nominated” me to be a part of The Nature Challenge, which consists of posting a nature photo each day for seven days, and nominating another friend each day to participate. What a lovely idea for someone like me who loves nature and can never resist taking a photo of the beauty found all around us in our natural world. As well, I have several friends whose photography is exquisite.
The challenge has brought me much pleasure this week, as I spent time sorting through my photos to find one to share each day, whipped out my camera when the perfect photo presented itself in my daily travels, and savored the beauty of the photos my friends shared. While I have never traveled far from home, many of my friends’ photos were of more distant locales, bringing a different perspective to my experiences of nature’s bounty.
To find joy, comfort, and excitement in nature is a gift. In the midst of chaos, I often look to nature for solace and peace. There is such beauty unique to each season in my little corner of the world — always something to look forward to as one season slowly turns into the next. When life gets particularly stressful, I step outside to breathe the perfumed air of summer, or turn my eyes to the clarity of the chill winter sky filled with stars and moonlight.
And so, this Nature Challenge has been particularly helpful to me throughout this busy and stressful week. One of the photos I shared was taken as I was hurrying to complete an errand and stopped by a peaceful little pond nearby. Somehow, as I stood in the midday spring sunshine and watched the geese, my spirits lightened, and I continued on my way with a weight lifted from my heart.
I am reminded of a quote by William Wordsworth.
“Pleasure is spread through the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.”