Mindfulness Challenge Week 18: Nature

forsythia w

Forsythia and Other Garden Discoveries

Until very recently, I had no idea what grew in my garden.

We moved here in the fall, when I was starting a new teaching position and spent all my spare time unpacking and planning.  There was no time to explore the yard, and soon the plants were buried in snow.

Spring came late this year.  Now, though, I can enjoy the bursts of colour coming up.  Crimson tulips, pink rhododendron, and bright yellow forsythia.  Soon, I will have blossoms on the apple tree and hydrangea.  I’m almost certain one plant is an astilbe; another I think is a dahlia.

Nature provides much beauty, but in spring it’s the flowers I enjoy the most.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Into the Woods

into the woods

Some days my son disappears into the woods.

Armed with nothing but his imagination and sense of adventure, he heads into the woods behind my parents’ house, often with his cousins and friends.  He’s done this on gorgeous summer days, drizzly evenings, and crisp snowy mornings.

I’m never exactly sure what he does there, nor do I care to go investigate.  I hear the occasional shout and the hard crack of wood against wood, so I know they’re safe.

The woods are the setting for untold stories, and the fallen trees are material for a fort. The darkness is a filter from the rest of the world.  There is just enough distance between this forest hideaway and the watchful eyes of parents to allow him freedom to invent without boundaries, to play without rules.

I can’t see my son when he’s in the woods, but this is what I know:  I know he is developing his independence, his creativity, and his appreciation for our natural environment.

He may come back to the house bug-bitten, scraped, or splintered, but he comes back happy.

Later…

I got to see the efforts of the boys’ hard work.  They proudly led me through the woods to their fort, and I was so impressed I went back for my phone so I could share what they had built:

Once a Maritimer…

This summer we came home.

After a year in Ontario, a move we made to be closer to “opportunities” for ourselves and our children, we have returned to the Maritimes once and for all.

As it turns out, the opportunities we sought were neither abundant nor worthwhile.  Instead, we have chosen to come back to the small town we came from.  Family, friends, the quiet life, and the beautiful beaches drew us home.

And so, I am back to sitting in the sand, listening to the waves, and searching for sea glass.

This is my happy place.

seaglass

 

What Fall Should Be

leaves

This week has been absolutely gorgeous.

It is November, and we have had temperatures of 17 and 18 degrees celcius.  The sun has been shining, the breeze has been calm, and the fall leaves are hanging on.

Last year at this time, winter was in full force.  Our yard never got cleaned up before the snow because the snow came so early.  This is what fall is supposed to be like.

What a difference a year can make.

Looking Closer

last-season

www.dawnblanchardphotography.com

Sometimes I don’t see a picture right away, but when I look closer, the possibilities appear.

That’s what happened here.

This tiny shrub has not yet begun to bud with new growth.  It is dry and still looks as though there is little hope for its survival.  It is not known yet whether it will flourish into another season.

And yet, there is beauty here.  These tiny papery blossoms, left over from last season, are still pretty.