Overcoming Aversity

Finding sources for inspiration in nature has always come easily for me.  It seems that nature is destined to overcome adversity; whether it is a plant growing though the crack of a sidewalk, a lotus flower growing out of the muck at the bottom of a pond, or salmon who swim upstream in fiercely cold waters to lay their eggs.

What can we learn from these examples (as well as countless more)?  Whether you believe in evolution, religion or some hybrid, it is clear that nature in all forms was built to overcome difficulties.  It amazes me as the spring is unfolding, that there are still tulips blooming in the center of my front yard.  I have spent the last three springs digging up the bulbs and transplanting them to a more appropriate location (in my opinion); however it seems that mother nature has her own plans for those flowers!

I believe that people should spend more time in nature.  More time touching the grass, wading in creeks and exploring the forest.  I wonder if our modern disconnect from this lifestyle has led to a sense of helplessness.  We are not reminded that, though the frost will come, so will the sun.  We aren’t faced over and over with the subtle sights of rebirth in the world such as newly blooming flowers, baby birds chirping in nests, and the tadpoles that swim in spring.  Many of us only see the devastation of the natural world: floods, hurricanes, tornados, roadkill, etc.   How can we remain hopeful when that is all we see??

Here are some tips to start regaining your hope with the help of our naturally evolving world:

  1. Go outside. Seriously, walk around your office building, eat a picnic, lay in grass, watch the geese, notice the clouds, plant some seeds, get lost on a trail with no sense of time, stand barefoot in a creek…
  2. Wake Up! Put your phone down and look around you. Get near windows whenever possible, be grateful for the fact that the grass keeps growing and notice the smell as you cut it, appreciate the variations in the weather patterns.
  3. Create opportunities. By this, I mean plant flowers that attract insects and birds, grow fruits and vegetables, hang a birdhouse. Whatever tasks you can, do them outside! Read, eat dinner, play a board game…who says you can’t do them in the grass or on the porch?
  4. Pass it On. Please…please…foster a love of nature in your children. They don’t need to be afraid of rain drops or worms.  Point out the fluffy clouds and the stormy ones.  Lead by example and be eager to experience the outdoors.  Go camping.  When your friends want to get together, suggest a park rather than a mall.

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me…You may not realize it when it happens;, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you” -Walt Disney