Thursday, May 29, 2008

Nature's Lessons For Life

by Donna L. Watkins

With our world that buzzes from the sounds of technology and traffic, it's more important than ever for your brain and eyes to experience some green space on a daily basis. Stress-filled lives wear and tear on the adrenals and other areas of health until we "get sick."

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Zebra Longwing - Costa Rica
Just as taking a bit of time for meditation, mild (non-competitive) exercise, and deep breathing can stop your body from continually living in the "flight or fight" response mode, time in the natural world balances out the mind and body. It helps us to get back to the basics and simple ways of life.

Maybe taking care of a small patch of earth with flowers would entice you. It's amazing to watch the bees, butterflies and hummingbirds that will visit a small flower garden. How satisfying it is to be able to provide refreshment and a source of life itself to these small, but so very important, creatures of our earth.

You can't watch a butterfly flutter and float around feeding, as it travels on a seemingly leisurely journey, without feeling a bit like you're making life too complicated. With such a short time they still have to mate and lay eggs for the next generation, but they sure do seem to enjoy the entire process. Maybe we need a shorter lifespan to appreciate each day so delightfully.

Watching the lifestyles of birds, insects and animals gives us a lot of insight into our own life choices. Somewhere near you there is a patch of the natural world that can fascinate you. If it's your back yard, it's exciting to know more about what is going on around you. To notice the cycles of life for a particular species. Spring is a great time to notice that with so many birds courting, breeding, feeding, releasing their children out to the world.

With a bit of time each day or even a few times each week, you'll be linking it all together one piece at a time ... and it will help you to piece your own life together. Be a part of its harmony by watching and listening to what's going on around you. It's critically therapeutic in our hustle and bustle world.

The Bible tells us to consider birds to know how to live this life on earth. Matthew 6:25-27 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

Worry is empty and gets you nowhere. We need to learn to trust God. He gave us our life and he will sustain it. An example is the birds of the air. Birds don’t plant any crops. Birds do not store any food in barns or silos. Birds do not shop at supermarkets and they don’t use refrigerators or freezers. Each new day they must hunt and gather food, yet they don’t seem to worry. They are up every morning singing joyfully.

It seems to me, they just believe all is well. They go about their day with a "knowing" that they will find their nourishment. When some tragedy happens to their nest and they lose their young, they spend the day flitting about looking and searching and seemingly grieving over it.

And then, the next day, they begin again to court, mate, nest and bring forth more young. They move on with life. Oh! to be able to emulate their example to us. Only by watching with daily wonder and understanding can we be changed and encouraged to believe that life is always good! Then, we can get up each day joyfully singing also.

Please share some of the life lessons you are learning from the natural world by leaving a comment with the link below. It will remind you how precious it is and will encourage others to get out there in it. Thanks!

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© 2000-2008 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission. Visit the author's website, for more articles and free email subscription.
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