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Nature’s Gifts by Scot Stewart: Finding ways to live deliberately when life throws curve balls

A partial fern frond is shown frozen in ice. (Photo courtesy of Scot Stewart)

Variety, spice, flashes of wonder are needed! People are finding their way outdoors in increasing numbers as the intricacies of life continue to throw us curve ball after curve ball. Social distancing has changed the way we interact with others and sheltering in place has truly altered our patterns fo travel and the manner in which we spend most of our days. Because we are still permitted to go out outside and take walks, pathways have become busier with walkers. Hikers, walkers and runners in search of fresh air, sunshine, exercise and a change of scenery outside the house. are charging out. Since many of us are not driving, our travels are limited to areas close to home. The season of spring is just beginning so there can be challenges in what the outdoors may send our way. So what if we give you an idea each day about things to look for while you are out?

Henry David Thoreau lived at Walden Pond for five years. He said he went there to live “because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life.” While he lived there he spent much of his time watching nature, observing all life around him. He often looks and listened to the little things. He relaxed, he learned, he came to appreciate life more. We can do that too.

During these early spring days daytime temperatures are melting snow. At night, water filling the pockets and hollows refreezes, trapping many small pieces of life in the temporary ice. Newly liberated leaves, parts of ferns, pine cones and feathers end up there. Those small puddles can contain crystallized polygons, trapped bubbles and other ice formations too. Early mornings are the best time to look and right now there are plenty of them to find. Take a few moments on that walk and see what the night has gifted you.

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