Lessons by Nature: Live the Seasons of Life.
A love for the outdoors in a person erupts like a seedling from a seed. When that first dash of water penetrates the soil, soaking the tiny seed in its descent, it pushes its first tendrils out towards the sun.
The seedling seeks the light so that it may imbibe itself with the sun’s fulfilling energy. A person’s first experience in nature — interacting, honoring and taking in that first dose of pure, simple beauty begins a love for the outdoors.
As a child I grew up outside, as did all four of my sisters. We played til the sun set behind whatever field, creek, forest, swamp or lake we were in at the time.
Walking home, holding the treasures of the day in our pockets, covered in dirt, and anticipating dinner on the table, we all began to understand the truth of nature.
Although a seedling may begin its ascent to the high reaches of the forest by that first drop of water and that first ray of sunshine, it needs much more to become a glorified beauty.
The necessary nutrients and sugars, the community of life around it, and the ever dependable sun keeps the tree growing tall and strong.
As with each growing tree, that first hard Winter is a test of its will. When the freeze settles in, the tree’s commune with life hardens; becoming more frugal and less receptive. The sun shines a little less everyday.
Weathering through each night and day, Spring finally arrives. Granting the tree just enough to continue on. Giving it a hint of the summer to come.
Even people reach a point where the first hard winter of their passion gives them room to pause. This comes in many different forms — from doubt to depression to life circumstances.
Weathering on past this moment, these moments, and looking at the first glimpse of spring pushes the love for the outdoors into that tree — allowing it to become tall and beautiful, swaying in the canopies of the forest.
Spring at last.
The sun, rising higher and higher, grants its energy to those patiently waiting on earth. The tree warms. The community of life surrounding its roots warms as well, giving more and more each day.
Hope begins again in the tree. Sprigs of new life erupt in budding branches.
Life gives life.
After each winter, the tree gives generously to those around it. Summer is fruitful, filled with many bounties and rewards. The tree continues to give, but also to receive. This is just as crucial of a point as that first hard winter.
Fall is the time when the tree gets to sleep without worry. The tree knows winter is coming, it knows of the hardships it will face. But fall is not hard. The tree is able to rest its leaves and conserve quietly, patiently waiting for the winter months to come.
The wise eye a tree holds is wisest during the fall season.
Throughout my life I was taught and taught myself that being active all day, everyday was how to live properly. During the hardest times of my life, wrapped in the most pain, I learned the lesson of the fall: to honor the times of rest with the same respect as the times of high abundance.
Contracting Lyme disease took me from a full blooming Summer into my Fall, then the longest Winter. Nature saved me as a teenager, learning how to live in harmony within myself and those around me.Thinking I had nothing else to learn from nature, I sought to teach others of this wonderful world.
However, nature never stops giving and teaching.
During the times of extreme pain and dis-ease, I was humbled by engrossing myself in the world around me. It saved me. It will continue to save me as life throws new challenges my way.
I know that stepping on a trail or paddling through a body of water will teach me for the rest of my life.
The one thing about a tree that took me a while to learn was its root system. For a long time, I was just a seedling — blowing from forest to forest, but never truly rooting myself in one community. This is what I now seek:
A community of life to sink my roots into. To give and receive through every season of life.
Era Keys is traveling along the journey of life and taking in as much of her surroundings as possible. She seeks truth: which includes honest people, good conversation, amazing experiences, and constantly growing and learning. Nature cures her restless spirit. Travel ignites her mind. Genuine people initiate her growth.