Not the Off-Hand “Thanks”


“Nature calms me,” said my grandson

as he stepped into his backyard,

left the stress of the school day,

entered the grace of afternoon.

I wish I had been that wise

when I was seven.

But nature is a patient teacher and

waited years for me to

pause at the call of a cardinal,

linger over the unfolding coneflower,

inhale the scent of honeysuckle,

finger the curling bark of the crape myrtle,

taste the wild strawberry,

settle my soul.

Nature waited years for me to be

deeply grateful,

and for me,

that’s where true peace begins.

I can’t imagine peace without gratitude—

not the off-hand, easily tossed “thanks”

but the gratitude that has no words,

the awe of a heart

full of the richness of being.

There is, of course, a dark side,

the underside of living,

but that’s all the more reason

to follow the wisdom of a seven-year-old

and at least once in a while

step into the grace

of Nature.


Nurture peace, cultivate kindness, and carry the calm.


Nature of the week:

Shadow of the week:

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‎Text and photos © 2024 Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.