When Jayne informed me that the theme of her next publication was to be Mother Nature I spent much time pondering exactly what we mean by Mother Nature.
I have drawn the conclusion that actually Mother Nature encompasses all living things, fauna, animals, humans, the seasons, life and death.
What a vast tapestry of different aspects cover the idea of Mother Nature!
I can only look at it from my own viewpoint, my microcosm, and my own particular relationship with Her. I watch the changing seasons from my bedroom window outside of which stands a majestic chestnut tree. I watch the green buds sprouting bravely in a chilly spring, I see them come to fruition and open to proudly display the broad, beautiful splendour of leaves. I watch them grow and flower with their white blossoms which then cascade to the ground leaving a carpet of white in their wake. I see the sun dappling through the greenery, the rain dripping from the branches, the wind tearing the less robust leaves from their stems. I watch the nuts appear and grow larger every day until; at last they fall, often onto my roof with dull thuds, or onto the ground where they will be collected by the wildlife which abounds in my neck of the woods.
I marvel at Nature and how clever She is, how the patterns go on and on, year upon year, never really changing but never the same either. As I look out today I see that the branches are bare. I can see clearly the twists and gnarls of each branch, hidden from me during the months of growth and harvest. A heavy frost is shimmering on my tree in the winter sunlight, sparkling and magical.
Then there are the birds of all descriptions which frequently visit the tree; robins, nuthatches, blue tits and the vibrantly coloured woodpeckers to name but a few. They feed from the bark; they eat the insects and aphids from the leaves. They know, these birds, that every year without fail there will be food for them, they never have to doubt or worry whether Mother Nature will provide for them, that during the times of harvest that there will always be enough.
The squirrels are also regular visitors, they scamper busily up and down the tree, gathering and storing foods for the winter.
Each season carries with it its own beauty. The cold and bare vista of winter could be a little depressing if it were not for the knowledge that during what seems a fallow time to us, Mother Nature is busy planning, seeding and growing far beneath the surface, beyond our sight but we know with certainty that soon shoots will burst forth from the ground. We have complete trust in the process, we have witnessed it all of our lives.
Perhaps one of the loveliest sights at the end of a long winter, when perhaps the snow is still covering the ground, is to see the brave little snowdrops pushing themselves through the cold earth, nodding their white heads to one other, bringing such joy and the promise of a new season to all who behold them. They are closely followed by the vibrant, happy daffodils spreading their joy to us all. We cannot forget the bluebells, a veritable carpet of blue exuding their heady fragrance. I name but a very few wonders of Mother Nature which are too numerous to mention. Every blade of grass, each flower cultivated or wild can fill our hearts with wonder and love of the wonderful works of Mother Nature which we are so privileged to behold.
We cannot, of course, take Her for granted; it is our responsibility to look after Her, to nurture Her and to protect Her. That is an awesome responsibility to carry, but we can all play our part even it is just to love the beauty we have all around us. Our good and loving appreciation will on some level enhance Her beauty.
No one can forget the storm of the 1980’s when we witnessed and were subjected to the awesome power of Mother Nature – we think maybe we can control these factors but in reality we are completely powerless when faced with the enormity of Her strength. She can so easily stop us in our tracks, an earthquake, a tsunami; even a heavy snowfall can remind us that we are not in charge.
The changing seasons are great teachers for us as well. We see the barren vistas of the Winter, the new life of the Spring, the splendour of the Summer and the closing down of the Autumn. We too being part of Mother Nature follow this same process. We have the Spring of our lives as newborns and children, when all is fresh and new. We experience the halcyon days of Summer, carefree days when we rarely look ahead but tend to live every day in the moment, so confident that change is a far away concept. Then we reach the Autumn of our lives, a time of reflection, a time of slowing down, of introversion. And sometime during the Winter of our lives we too will wither and die and become, once again, part of the new growth, the new life.
Mother Nature is truly abundant, ever changing but ever constant showering us with Her gifts, Her beauty, Her awesomeness. All She asks of us is to respect Her to love and care for Her. Can we do it?
Article by Kathy Searle
The Seekers Trust and More to Life Elder