Someone once said, “The more you try to control something, the more it controls you. Free yourself and let things take their own natural course.” This quote resonates with us here at Hope Grows as we apply this learning concept of control and nature this month.
Autumn equinox started on Sept. 22, with our days becoming darker and nights cooler. The growing season is coming to an end, creating lots of tasks of harvest and clean up. We begin to put the gardens to bed while we watch the squirrels stockpile nuts from the beautiful hickory tree. We spend time recording the lessons of what grew well, research what needed more support, and document changes for next year.
A little bit of disappointment seeps in, overwhelming us as we begin to remove flowers that were growing all year to make room for the harvest time of year with fall mums, pumpkins, corn stalks, and gourds.
The Lessons of Gardening and Nature
This time of year always creates thoughts about the many lessons nature teaches and the beginning of inward thoughts of restoration. I ponder all the lessons of gardening and nature, but I am always humbled at the thought that no matter how much we nurture something, it ultimately remains out of our control.
Good, bad or indifferent, nothing stays the same no matter how hard we work at it or hope for it to be different. Life is a perpetual cycle of evolution to the next breath that we take. The biggest lesson, though, is when someone close to us dies. When my father died of pancreatic cancer, I learned how precious each moment is and that someone’s next breath can be their last.
Life does have an end on this earth and it becomes a reminder that we are just a drop of rain in the sand of time. Sounds somewhat depressing, but nonetheless, the reality of life and death.
Enjoying Each Moment
There are several things we can do to interact with nature to help with those deep thoughts.
- Take the time, unplug, decompress, and ponder the lessons of nature. If you think about a seed, it does not need to be taught how to grow, even if you place it in the soil upside down, it rights itself and provides for an amazing lesson of survival.
- Take time to bring in the beauty of all the seasons, yes, even winter. Even though deciduous trees look dead in the wintertime, they are taking advantage of what the season provides: a time of rest, a time of restoration, and the opportunity to store water for the next season of beauty.
- Take in nature with your senses. The sound of nature is what always fascinates me. It helps me appreciate the birth of new beginnings, which then provides balance.
- Take an “awe-inspiring’ walk” in nature. It can reduce stress and provide further connection by creating a place where one can become mindful, focus on self, and even surrender control, even if that control is the decline or the death of a loved one.
If you take away any lesson this month from us, I hope that you have learned the healing power of nature. The result is stress reducing and provides an overall sense of improved wellbeing. One last thought! “Nature does not expect anything from us, it is one place that we are able to surrender all control and we are resilient…like plants, all that is needed to flourish is warmth, nourishment, tenderness, and someone to understand our individual needs! And keep in mind, just like trees, we need hugs, too!”