week #40 in an experimental year…

One of my rituals for each new year is to choose a word to influence me for the year.   My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT.   To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year.

This week I paid special attention to Mother Nature.

My experiment was to look for something AWEsome in Nature every single day.  I like to think I’m connected to Nature, but I gotta tell you, this week helped me realize that I don’t notice her lessons early often enough.

This image is of the one of the oldest and largest live oak trees in North Carolina.  We said goodbye to her Wednesday night, during a mega storm here at Lake Waccamaw.  The lesson – don’t take even the mighty for granted.

One evening I was sitting outside and witnessed a tree frog watch me and then attach herself to my home.  It happened so fast!  The lesson – when someone/anyone says ‘watch this’ – WATCH!

Another evening I witnessed a pair of mockingbirds court.  They danced.  They sang to each other.  Then they went behind a tree.  I didn’t follow, but I have an idea of what happened next.  The lesson – love is happening every minute of every day.

This week I also got to witness something I’ve been trying to witness for the 25 years I’ve lived here at Lake Waccamaw.  I got to see a turtle climbing ONTO a log.  That may not sound like much, but it was!  And here’s the secret – turtles have legs at least as long as Gene Simmons’ tongue.   The lesson –  be ready to be wOwed.

I received many other lessons from Mother Nature this week.

And I wonder, what has she taught you lately?

6 thoughts on “week #40 in an experimental year…

  1. This weekend we spent the day doing the fall yard work. Once i had the seed and wheat straw down, I pulled the garden hose out, so I could wet the ground. I was spraying a light sprinkle and just watching the wind blow the water around. Then, I noticed the oddest thing: a hummingbird flew right into the water and just postitioned herself as if we were looking face to face. I shortened the water flow to draw her closer to me, and she came. She played with me for a while, and then she flew away and sat on a limb for some time, as if she were just watching me. Now, when my mother was living, she kept humming bird feeders in her yard and she LOVED hummingbirds. Call me crazy – but I felt as if God was sending me a note.

  2. I am in a period of feeling ‘contingent’, with a biopsy coming up later this week. Yesterday, I left D.C. in a rain shower and as I drove away from the city saw a huge, magnificent rainbow stretching over the city. I thought ‘well, this is not a promise to me that I am going to be ok, but it is a promise that the world will keep on being a beautiful place, no matter what.’

  3. Wanda
    October 4, 2011

    Last Sunday as my husband and I were coming back from Wilmington via the MLK bypass I noticed the large area of dead trees in the creek area around the middle of the three bridges. I’d noticed them before and just thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of dead trees.” This time (maybe because I wasn’t driving) I saw individual trees and how differently they were shaped; how each had a kind of stark beauty–bleached white limbs, devoid of any decoration except the occasional swag of Spanish moss, against an impossibly blue afternoon sky. They had been stripped down to their bare essence, still anchored to the earth by an unseen system of roots. Though most would see no purpose in their continued presence, I imagine that there are birds and insects and other creatures who would beg to differ. I hope that I will have that kind of beauty at the end of my life here–all of the non-essentials burned away, simply being, resting in God’s eternal purpose for my life until He deems that purpose fulfilled, then moving on to what comes next.

  4. Marvis-I’m with you; i think you were sent a note signed by your mom.

    Penny- The ride is twisty, but the world is a beautiful place. Sending postive vibes your way.

    Wanda- “Dead” trees are rather alive with wildlife in my area! Too bad not enough see the purpose behind them.

    This week Mother Nature reassured that everything has a season and there is a season for everything as evidenced by the weather change!!!!

  5. Marvis, i’m STILL smiling as i imagine your carrier hummingbird experience ~ wOw.

    Penny, know that i hold you in my heart as you await those biopsy results. ps – you are ALWAYS going to be OK. all shall be well.

    Wanda, love imagining those moments when you allowed yourself to be gobsmacked by those trees. thanks for taking us there with you AND for the loving reminder.

    Judi, YAY for seasons!

    thanks to you all for your sharing your holy lessons from Mother Nature.

  6. Early Native Americans said that if you put your hands on a tree and concentrate, you can feel the heartbeat of the Earth. I’ve always believe that. And I’m constantly aware of all the things Mother Nature surrounds us with. So many sounds, so many sights. It’s overwhelming when we just stop and listen.

    And Lisa, when I lose a tree, it’s like losing a family member. I can’t imagine what it was like to lose that giant oak tree on Lakeshore Drive. Nature gives and Nature takes. Hard to do sometimes, but we must honor both.

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