Like many other people, I’ve been feeling the bombardment of so many things that are happening in our lives. I’ve been kept awake at night thinking about the divisiveness that exists in my country, my state, and my city. I’ve lost sleep over the strange happenings of weather – fires in the west that are too huge to imagine the destruction that’s being caused, feet of rain falling from hurricanes making landfall, and the vegetation changes happening here in Minnesota and Wisconsin that’s affecting our wildlife populations of moose, deer, and loons. Then there are the worries of a continuing pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands here in the US – a number that has already surpassed the combined US combat deaths of World War I, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War; the pain sometimes seems too much to fathom.
For me, turning to nature is a balm over these anxieties. Each morning the earth has completed it’s turn, the darkness of night fades, and the sun returns again. The leaves are now beginning their color change as the calendar approaches autumn. I stand out on the dock where the lake temperature has cooled after the heat of summer but is now warmer than the outside air temperature in the early dawn. The steam rises off the lake, the sun rises over the horizon, and in the distance I can hear the geese calling. Soon they will be leaving this area and migrating south. The air temperature will continue to fall as we slide into winter, and the lake will ice over as our days grow shorter and shorter. And then slowly all these things will reverse. These are the constants I’m trying to focus on and appreciate.