Nature’s Story

This past week of hurricane and flooding has brought stories of all kinds. Some are heart-heavy and tragic. Some are bittersweet. Some are soul-stirring, inspiring, hopeful, and even, as strange as it sounds, happy.

Nature itself is one of the oldest storytellers.

“[N]ature consists of an endless series of stories,” says John A. Murray, nature writer and editor. ” . . . the continual pageant of the seasons, the incessant conflicts between predators and prey, the individual battles of lifeforms to survive, the contests involved in breeding, the cycles of pregnancy in animals and fruition in plants, the epic migrations of whales and wildebeests, the sagas of mass extinction, the passage of the solar days, the building of great storms, the formation and erosion of continents, the waxing and waning of the moon, the transit of the constellations along the zodiac, the coming and going of comets and meteor showers, the life and death of stars and galaxies, the life and death of the universe itself.”

When we witness the stories of nature – or become part of them – they become our stories, too. Be an island of calm and hope in the storm. Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week – Leaf shadows that look like . . . a bird? A critter with big ears?:

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Text, shadow photo, and water lily photo © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Book photo courtesy pexels.com

When Nature Takes Center Stage

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

– Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

 

This week nature brought us together to watch in awe as the moon totally eclipsed the sun and, only days later, a howling hurricane stormed its way onto land. Our hopes and prayers are for safety and an extra measure of inner peace for those in the path of the storm.

Hold onto your sense of awe as you nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week:

Shadow of the Week – during the eclipse, sunlight through the leaves formed crescent shadows:

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

A Curious Old Word

This week’s quote contains a word we don’t hear much anymore: partake. But it’s a rich little word, a mashup of two that we use all the time: part and take. Like a puzzle, they’ve been rearranged. They mean take part. If you “take part,” you’re a “part taker.” You partake. Or as we say more often, using a related word, you participate. In the following quote, Milton is stretching out his hand and inviting us to come along. “Partake.” It’s an invitation.

“In those vernal seasons of the year,

when the air is calm and pleasant,

it were an injury and sullenness against Nature

not to go out and see her riches,

and partake

in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.”

– John Milton, Of Education

 

Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week ­– a creek I passed on a hike in Norway:

Shadow of the Week:

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Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Colors of the Spirit

“Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.”

– Emerson, “Nature” –

The word nature comes from the Latin nasci, which means “to be born.” Leaves are peeking out and stretching, buds are opening – must be the earth’s birthday. Enjoy!

Nurture peace, cultivate loving-kindness, and carry the calm.

Nature of the week – a redbud blossoming all along its branches:

This week, a double shadow:

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For my posts on life, faith, and the mystery we call God, link here.

 

Text and photos © 2017 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

Cares Will Drop Away

“Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”

– John Muir, Our National Parks –

 

Calm seems to be in short supply these days. All the more reason to intentionally call time-out for yourself – two minutes, five minutes, thirty minutes, whatever you can manage. Slow down, don’t relive or prelive but simply live for a moment in the moment. Find a bit of nature to observe, listen to, smell, and touch. It may be as large as the sky and a path through the woods, or as small as a blade of grass, a fallen leaf, or a pebble cupped in the palm of your hand. Exhale the panicked ugliness that has seeped in from current events, and inhale nature’s faithful beauty. Exhale tension; inhale calm. Let the wind blow its freshness into you. Let your cares drop away “like the leaves of Autumn.”

Nourish peace, cultivate loving kindness, and carry the calm. We need you.

Nature of the week:

fallvacreeper

Shadow of the Week – found on a bench:

ptonbenchshdw

 

Text and photos © 2016 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

For my posts on coming of age in a community of faith, link here.

 

When the Time is Ripe