Mindfulness and Nature
On a forest walk yesterday, I was treated to a display of snowdrops under the trees. While I felt the initial thrill that always accompanies the first snowdrops of the year, I noticed a tinge of sadness too. It wasn’t unexpected. I feel the same way at the turn of every season, year in, year out. It’s something I’ve come to accept about myself.
The thing is, delighted as I am to see the first signs of the new season approaching, and all the promise that brings, I find myself mourning the passing of the season that’s on its way out. I throw myself into each season; notice and appreciate everything that each has to offer – but that often results in a pang of loss when it’s gone.
In winter I enjoy dark, frosty mornings, occasional snow and early sunsets. There’s something about the starkness of the forest in winter – a sight of the forms of trees without leaves and the usually-hidden views of hills and valleys that lie behind them. The appearance of the snowdrops yesterday heralded that it was time for me to say goodbye to winter - and I love winter. Ok, let’s stop there. I love all four seasons and that’s where the paradox comes in. If I hadn’t said goodbye to a spectacular autumn last year, if the trees hadn’t shed the golden display of leaves, then they would never have become the winter versions of themselves I have so enjoyed.
So when I experienced this feeling yesterday, I acknowledged it and took it as evidence that I lived the last season to the full. Then I let the feeling go, moved into the flow, and accepted the cyclical rhythm of nature. Change was in in the air and I allowed myself to feel the expectancy, the promise of approaching spring. It was important to move into this state of flow, because I know that the snowdrops are fleeting too, and if I’m too busy mourning the passing of winter, I’ll miss the wonder that these delicate flowers have to offer. Not only are they incredibly beautiful, covering the forest floor with a snowy-white carpet, I think they also represent a sense of optimism, hope and new beginnings.