Slow Down and Notice Mother Nature

Putting one foot in front of the other at a moderate pace. Most of us walk every day. We walk all around our home. We walk at work. Up the stairs, down the stairs. We walk outside in our yards. We walk on a trail. We take walks on the beach or around town. We walk on a treadmill. Everyone knows the benefits of walking for your physical health. Walking will help you lose or maintain your weight. It can help you prevent a disease. It can strengthen your bones. This is common knowledge. However, did you know walking is also good for your soul and for your mental health? For me, walking improves my mood. It calms me down when I am stressed out. It clears my head and helps me think better.

Walking gives me a much needed break when I need one. Well, that much needed break arrived yesterday. I decided to walk on a local nature trail and for some reason I decided to bring my camera and I am so glad I did. I found some very pretty scenes of nature that turned into nice photographs. Take this one for example.

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Walking by it at first glance may not seem like anything special. However, after stopping and looking at this flower more closely, it really is very beautiful. It helps me realize that I need to give things a second chance and not dismiss things right away. Sometimes things are not what they first seem. However if you stop, look, listen, and watch, that something can give you a better way to look at things.

So I kept walking along the trail looking at the beautiful scenes in front of me. The pretty trees, flowers, woods, meadows, and wetlands. Not many people notice their surrounding. I mean really notice their surrounding. They go about their daily lives not paying attending to the beautiful things that surround them. I came across this bridge and I was just going to walk across the bridge and keep walking. Then something caught my eye. I am glad I stopped because this is what I found.

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It may seem like a average photo to you. To me, I see the sky reflecting on the water, which just adds something special to the picture. I see the turtles in their natural habitat. In fact, the turtles were all around on surrounding logs. If I kept walking by at my brisk pace and didn’t notice what was around me, I would have missed this. I stopped here and really looked at where I was while everyone else was walking past me. I was wondering why know one was stopping to look at these turtles. Didn’t they realize if they stopped for 30 seconds, they would witness nature at her best?

I kept walking and my thoughts consumed me. In fact, my worries crept up on me. I was worried about a job, money, my writing, etc. Will I ever make it to where I want to be? Will my writing ever improve? Will I ever be published and noticed? Then I came across this.

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Yes, this is a bench. What does this have to do with calming my soul down and letting go of my worries you ask? For one, the two plants make this bench look inviting. The bench is just waiting for someone to slow down, notice it, sit down, and breath. Secondly, the pillow adds decoration to the bench. It makes me want to take a nap on it! Last but not least I want you to look very closely at the bench. What else do you see? I see a picture of someone on that bench. In fact, it is what I noticed first. Someone had to pass away in order for that picture to be there. This bench is in memory of someone. It reminds me that someone unfortunately had to pass on so we could have this beautiful scene. Someone’s family decided to put this here for not only for them, but for us to enjoy it. The bench reminded me I need to calm down and relax and not only go for my dreams, but also let life happen. Life is too short to be stressed and worried all the time.

So my walk was coming to an end. I was less stressed, more energetic, and ready to continue my day without be consumed with worry. My walk did what I was hoping. I was in a better mood than before I started it. I stepped up my pace to finish my walk and went right on by one last picture. I missed it at first. Then I stopped and backed up. Looked up and took out my camera. This is what my camera took.

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To you, an ordinary picture of a corn field. Am I right? To me, it was a picture that I didn’t want to miss. This is very pretty to me. I don’t have the words to really explain it, but the sky is gorgeous to me. Not only do you see partially blue skies, but the clouds are very pretty. The trees add a nice frame to the picture while the corn field is like the base of the picture. All together it makes a beautiful nature scene.

So you see if I didn’t go for a walk yesterday and believe me, I almost did not. I had to talk myself into it. I would have missed nature. I would missed the pictures I ended up taking. I would have missed the opportunity to calm my soul. The next time you are under some stress, stop what you are doing. Breath slowly in and out. Relax. Do what calms you down. It does not have to be a walk, but do something to help you think about the brighter things in life. Next time you are out for a walk, notice your surroundings. Notice nature. Mother nature is beautiful. She is waiting for people to slow down and notice her!

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