Paint the Stars

Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being. Allow nature to teach you stillness. ~ Eckhart Tolle

Cheerful birdsong. Grass between my toes. Warm baths of sunshine. Cool showers of rain. Heady breezes. Wispy clouds. Buzzing bees. Drifting off to sleep to the cadence of the peepers. There’s a recurring theme in most of the spiritually inclined books that I read. I stumble across one quote after another spoken by enlightened men and women everywhere, in all times, that direct us towards one thing. Specifically? Nature. Reconnect and rediscover, they all implore. The way to peace can be found easily enough, it isn’t as reclusive as we seem to want to believe. You only have to begin by stepping out your door, by drinking up all of the natural beauties this world offers up to us, each and every glorious day.

Who hasn’t felt their mood lift, immediately and spontaneously when greeted by the sun after many days of heavy clouds? Who hasn’t been in awe of a powerful thunderstorm or filled with reverence at a rainbow? Nature and my deep connection to it were missing from my life last year. I made a vow in 2012 to allow it back in again. I’m off to a pretty good start, basking in the sun as I commit these thoughts to paper.

2011 was my business oriented year; many hours spent on the computer versus many hours spent digging in the dirt. It was a conscious choice, an experiment. Over time it cost me, but how could I have known that at the onset? Looking back now, from a place of deeper peace, I realize just how unbalanced I was. I was moving much too fast to absorb the natural sedative found just outside my window. But, as with all things, this choice had its silver living. Being removed, and subsequently returning, made me aware of how deeply nature grounds and balances me.  How much more consciously and slowly I move through it. She gently reminds us there is no forcing open a blossom until its time has come. There is no stopping the rainfall until the clouds are spent. There is no harvest until the plant allows. In order to fully enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer I must move as she does, with a steady pace and a giving heart.

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. ~ William Shakespeare

Most obviously, last year marked the first time since I’ve owned a house that I didn’t plant a garden.  My heart just wasn’t in it, the thought sent shivers of dread through me. So much work. So much time. With careful consideration I deliberately chose to leave my gardens fallow. We both earned a much needed rest, and I didn’t regret it for an instant.

And yet, this year brings me back to my roots, literally and figuratively.  Back to what feeds my soul. Being outside, feeling my place in something larger, knowing that I am a small but important part of it all, makes me joyful. So joyful that I sometimes break out into weird fits of dance… or something that resembles it anyway. My girls witness this phenomenon often…poor things. The feeling that courses through me seems overwhelming, as though my body is unable to hold it all. Release, release it cries out! I simply cannot contain an ounce more of happiness or I may explode. Or implode. Or break into some weird and ancient tribal dance.

Despite reshaping, rebirthing and redefining BackyardDreams, I make sure to spend sometime outside every day. Reading in the sun. Hanging laundry. Strolling barefoot through the grass. Taking a walk in the sunshine. Listening to the wind whisper. And while not a daily option, I find that there is no greater peace to be found than sitting by the ocean, absorbing the pounding of the waves and the enormity of it all. Intense peace can be found there, free for the taking.

I find nature to be the only intoxicant that I need to soothe anger, quell frustration, sow joy. It brings me back to balance, effortlessly. Now that warm weather has returned I use the song of the birds in my evening meditation. It succeeds in bringing me back to the present moment time and time again, like nothing else can. Sleeping to the cadence of the peepers once again reminds me of just how much I missed it. I wake up refreshed and grounded, ready to greet the new day.

I think the Native Americans and every other culture that revered, embraced and coexisted peacefully with nature had a key element figured out. I think as humans we’ve lost our way a bit. With our concrete towers, our sedentary lives, our self-inflicted amputation from all things organic and pure we have shut ourselves off from one of the most powerful healers of all. Available to all, if we just know where to look, how to see, when to listen.

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune it. ~ George Washington Carver

My neglected garden after a year of rest
Day 1 ~ with Riley Mae as my helper...
Day 2 ~ Looking good
Day 3 ~ Job well done. :)

Happy, little pea plants reaching for the sun
Abundant kale
Most all of the photos today are courtesy of my very talented daughter, Jordan, over at Rainbow Veins. I'll leave you now with some words from the wise. Have a glorious Sunday all. :)

Sunshine makes everyone giddy ~ Cricket

 When I have a terrible need of -shall I say the word- religion. Then I go out and paint the stars. 
~ Vincent Van Gogh

   Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~ Albert Einstein

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment. 
~ Jane Austen

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. 
 ~John Lubbock

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. 
~ e.e.cummings

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.  
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

Peace & Blessings ~ Melinda