001It is a dreary day here in Maryland. It is grey, the temperature is dropping rapidly. The rain looms in the heavy clouds, taunting us with its imminence. I sit by my window watching the raindrops splash intermittently in the birdbath.

This weather keeps us inside, but it surely doesn’t detour the birds and squirrels who forage for food around the bird feeder and stop by for a drink in the birdbath. My favorite moment is when the Carolina Wren jumps onto the window box in search of spiders and insects. He cocks his head and looks at me through the window before he heads off on his way to better hunting grounds.

I didn’t want to go out in this weather today, but I had to do a couple of errands before the family got back from work and school. I put on my rain boots and raincoat and braved the dreary out-of-doors.

As I traipsed from one store to the other gathering the supplies we might need for the winter storm heading our way, I was caught by surprise when the cool wet air hit my face. I listened to the wet pavement under the tires in the parking lot, I breathed in the fresh air remembering the warmer days of summer and fall. My mood instantly lifted and I began to think about how important it is to stay connected to nature even when she isn’t showing her brightest face.

Soup 002I had to rush home to have lunch before my next appointment and it suddenly occurred to me that this was an opportunity. I took the time to enjoy the nature that was inside my home, even if the outside was grey. I made myself some nourishing bean soup and added fresh parsley and grape tomatoes. Its a simply act, however when I focused on the flavors of these garden gifts, I felt nearly as good as when I have my hands in the soil. Now that my mind is focused on being grateful for all the ways nature supports me (us), I will don my rain boots and raincoat once again and walk to meet mycropped-Birds-014.jpg kids afterschool. And when we get home, I will make us all a warm cup of herbal tea that we will enjoy while we sit near the blooming hellebore that was given to us at Thanksgiving. And, then… we will connect with one another.

How are you staying connected to nature today? I’d love to hear your story.