This time of year makes us think about what we are thankful for. I have many blessings to be thankful for; my faith in a God who blesses me every day, my wonderful family and friends, and my love of nature.
I am so blessed to be able to sit and just take in my natural surroundings: the almost secret life of a twisty vine, grasses swishing in the wind, water flowing along under a bright blue sky. I might look like I am loafing at times, but I am very busy. I’ve spent my life studying nature and still do not know enough, except how much I love studying it. There are so many mysteries in nature to unfold. There are so many intricate dynamics. There are so many blessings of nature to be thankful for.
On a recent hike, I took this photo of a tiny curly vine. How many people would walk right by and overlook this? I found it fascinating and unique. It reminds me of all the twists and turns in our lives, circles and spins. Nature has to deal with all the twists and turns also; outside forces that can destroy, and inside factors from just the natural life cycle of a plant. But I am so grateful I got to observe its short life because I was there.
I love to walk through prairies and forests and observe native grasses silently swaying in the wind. Sometimes I sit for hours in a remote place just to absorb the beauty and wonder. There is nothing more rewarding than watching the feathery seeds of little blue stem sparkling in the sun. I am thankful that I got observe this beauty because I was there.
Water is also very important to my well-being. I love hiking along a beautiful stream or floating along in my kayak. The sounds of nature are all around you, but the gurgling, swishing, bubbling water sounds can put my soul to rest. I try to capture these moments with my camera, but cannot really do it justice. Still, I am thankful I got to take the shot because I was there.
We all have so much to be thankful for, yet it seems we only really think about it at this time of year. My challenge to myself this next year is to think of something to be thankful for every day, and to find a way to express that gratefulness both to my creator and to those around me who make my life so good.