Taking Cues From Mother Nature

A cool front moved through here between Saturday and yesterday, leaving us with temperatures 20 to 25 degrees cooler for the past two days than most of last week.  As Summer fades into Autumn, the night breeze has a slight chill, as does the daytime breeze, and for some reason, overnight the air seems to be more crisp and clean.  It is a beautiful day here today, and even the sunshine seems somehow prettier.  As things have died out over the Summer heat, the plants that managed to withstand the brutal heat seem to be even brighter.

Our part of the earth is preparing to hibernate, as Autumn will surely give way to Winter.  Our area will be at rest, rejuvenating for the next phase, Spring…and the cycle will repeat…waking, living, resting & sleeping, waking, living, resting & sleeping…on and on it goes.

We tend to push ourselves to the breaking point every single day.  Most of us don’t have too much trouble with the waking part of our day, but we try to cram so much “stuff” into it that we ignore one of the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  Rest & sleeping…

If we pay attention to nature, we can get clues.  Take for instance the perennials.  They sprout forth their life, grow, start to wither and die, only to repeat the cycle, sometimes even bigger and better over the following years.  I’d like to use, as examples, two particular plants; Crape Myrtles and Pampas Grass.

When I lived in Texas, everyone grew Crape Myrtles.  One particular fellow had a fence lined with Crape Myrtles.  I passed his place everyday on my way to work.  Before I knew much about them (I still don’t know too much!), at the beginning of Autumn, he cut every single one of them to the ground.  I thought to myself, “What the heck are you doing, mister?” because they were beautiful…smaller, but beautiful.  The next Spring, after resting the Autumn and Winter, they came back with a vengeance!  They grew bigger and more full, and even more beautiful…that next Fall, he did the same thing…Cut them to the ground!  Yet, in the Spring, they came back and grew even bigger and more lovely…

My parent’s driveway is lined with Pampas Grass.  It is a beautiful sight when they are covered in full plumes.  People here, in the Midwest, grow them, as well.  What they do here, though, in Autumn, is cut them down and burn them off…If you know nothing about it, it sounds crazy, right?  Yet the following year, after the Autumn and Winter rest, they come back fuller and more beautiful.

The same goes for deciduous trees, as well…Ever seen a Maple Tree go through it’s cycle?  Another lovely tree with a similar cycle is the popular Bradford Pear.  Beautiful life emerges in the final throws of Winter and the onset of Spring as the trees flower.  Pretty leaves emerge (most are green, but there are other colors as well.  Japanese Maples are famous for their red or red lined leaves and are very popular ornamental trees!) and by Summer, they are covered with leaves.  In Autumn, as the trees wind down for rest, the leaves put on a SPECTACULAR show as they change color from green to yellow to orange and to red (sometimes having all four colors on one leaf!), as the tree gets ready to shed its leaves for the upcoming hybernation. It is an awesome show!

I have known many people who leave the trees to their own devices, once they are established, and they do alright.  I have also known others to nurture and care for their trees, and boy do they flourish!

There are a couple of things we can learn from Mother Nature…

First, we NEED our rest and relaxation to rejuvenate.  Sure, we can go and go and go all day long, deep into the night, crash onto our beds, get a few hours of sleep, get up the next day and do it all again, but that pace takes a toll on our body, and on our psyche.  Our bodies need proper rest, and nourishment if we plan to live long lives.  Lack of sleep leads to stress, confusion and moodiness.  Stress is one of the main sources for dis-ease and bodily malfunction in otherwise healthy adults.  Lack of sleep causes us to not “think” to our fullest capacity, causing us confusion, which breeds frustration, and then anger.  These are preventable things, if we nourish ourselves through proper rest and diet.

Second, Mother Nature can also show us the beauty of life and dignity in death.  As both the Crape Myrtle and the Pampas Grass and deciduous tree examples show us, we can live our lives in beauty and splendor, and at the end, if we do not fear our life or death, we can transition into our next great adventure, and be even more splendid at that.  Many religions teach us about life after death, reincarnation, etc.  So, as you watch Nature, you can see what happens after it appears to “die.”  The next “life” is so much bigger and more beautiful…and on it goes…

Take good care of yourself, respect yourself and don’t be afraid of what is to come.  Take time to “rest.”  There is nothing wrong with simply being still for a while!  Sure, you can take a vacation every year, but what about a little rest every day?  Take a short walk, relax in a warm bath, read, listen to music, take up a hobby, or yoga.  Get proper rest, and then be SURE to get proper sleep!   The things to promote rest do not have to take up much of your time, but the benefits of rest and sleep are unending!  I challenge each of you to take on your life, but treat it with respect.  Grow, live and nurture your life.   And, try treating every living thing with the same “respect for life” and see what you cultivate in your own!  Many Blessings!

 

Blessings!

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Disclaimer:

By suggesting reading and alternative therapies, we are not attempting to diagnose or treat any illness. Our suggestions are merely that, based on personal experience and research and should, in no way, be a substitute for medical advice.
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