5 Tips For Nurturing the Power of Mother Nature


autumn parkThis weekend in northern Michigan, I spent some time at our cottage, a small place on the banks of Wixom Lake.  After what had been a stressful week teaching my students, grading homework, and orchestrating parent-teacher conferences, I was feeling a bit frayed around the edges. The last thing I wanted was to sit on I-75 in Friday night rush hour traffic for 3 hours as my husband and I wormed our way north. The weather was cold, snow flurries were forecast, and I was thinking of all the work I had packed into my school bag to complete over the weekend.

 Three hours later, we pulled up to our little cabin.  The snow showers had dissipated, leaving a sparkling sky and a full, bright moon.  The air was crisp, and the fallen oak leaves and acorns crunched underfoot. The knot in my forehead and tightness in my shoulders began to unwind, as I inhaled the familiar scents of cedar and moss.
The next morning, after waking up without an alarm clock, I filled the bird feeders, and waited for the usual customers to arrive, as well as some late fall migrants that might be flying south.  I wasn’t disappointed.  A pileated woodpecker descended onto the top of the wooden feeder, which drove away the blue jays that wanted to share in the bounty.  A yellow-throated vireo stopped by on her way south to get some fuel for the long trip.

Later that day, my husband and I ventured outside to hike a familiar trail through the aspen and oak woods. The walk through the forest was meditative and serene. I noticed the squishy moss underfoot, the breeze rustling the few leaves that still clung to the trees, and the sparkling sunshine that lit up the day.  I was not thinking of all the “must-dos” that had been on my mind yesterday, but only of the old fallen tree I needed to navigate, the animal den we stumbled across, and the berry bushes where robins and cedar waxwings were gorging themselves. It was serene, meditative, and healing.  The tension evaporated from me as my concentration focused on my surroundings, not the ever-present voice of obligation in my head.


  1. Reading this makes me want to go outside right now! I totally agree that being out in nature is so soothing and helps me put my troubles, worries, and stresses into perspective.

  2. Being out in nature does bring things into perspective, for ourselves and for our children. When we are outdoors, we experience a sensory stimulation that takes us out of our heads and homes and makes us feel a part of the larger world. Nature soothes, stimulates, and awakens our senses.


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