On the Nurturing Ways of Nature…

Nature, in all of its forms, has a way of nurturing life and the living; nature is able to create, give, and sustain life.

Nature benefits the human body, the human mind, and the human soul.

This morning I awoke to the rays of the sun as they shined through my window. I felt a warm energy around me, but perhaps more importantly, within me. I could feel the dreary affects of winter embark from my body, slowly but surely. I felt that I had the physical strength to grasp all the responsibilities of the day in addition to feeling an emotional awakening.

I truly believe that nature is a vital part of not only sustaining life, but also in enjoying life.

Nature produce the essentials to human life, including oxygen, water, etc. Although this aspect of nature is under-appreciated at times, it is important to recognize how necessary nature is, and the role it takes in sustaining life.

Yet, another aspect of nature’s contribution also goes under-appreciated far too often.

In the wilderness, whether it be the woods, a mountain, or a body of water, an individual is able to introspectively reflect on all aspects of life.

It is in the wilderness that naturalists and famous authors, such as Thoreau, who are respected in high regarded, have been able to reflect, meditate, observe and write some of the most profound works of art, literature – even science – known to man.

When in the wilderness, seek not for a profound experience, but rather a personal and intimate experience that will allow you to open your mind and your heart.

In nature, wilderness permits individuals to have a comfortable, yet fulfilling experience that helps one gain more awareness of self. In this sense, nature nurtures the mind and emotions.

Being in the wilderness will help bring awareness to inner wildness. The difference between wilderness and wildness can be understood in my post “Wilderness and Wildness”.

Nature aids in helping an individual understand the wildness that lies within oneself, and in the environment. Nature nurtures knowledge, awareness, and conscientiousness in addition to what it offers to benefit and support the physical body.

When I take a walk, I look at the trees, the flowers and the sky. Questions pertaining to these symbols of nature arise in my mind. Questions of science, that can be answered with a natural process, or simply a scientific explanation of some sort. However, what stimulates my mind, and my emotions, are the questions that arise as I continue to walk into the wilderness.

I question my life, my thoughts, and my goals. The longer and farther I walk, the more introspective I become. However, my questions are never the same. And, sometimes, I do not have the answers to many of my questions. Yet, I seemingly feel energized by my thoughts, and by the comforting wilderness that surrounds me. In this sense, I am nourished by nature, physically and emotionally.

I encourage my readers to venture out into nature, to observe the environment and what lies within the mind and soul.

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On Human Nature and the Boston Bombings

I am a Bostonian. I am an undergraduate student. I am a human being questioning what distinguishes good from evil.

I believe in the compassion found in the human soul, the understanding found in the human heart, and the thoughtfulness found in human hands.

Today, April 15th, Boston, MA was bombed. On a day that celebrates victory and achievement, while the city hosts a famous marathon that commemorates athleticism, the city and its people were wrongfully attacked.

Although this blog is dedicated to my findings in nature. I feel that it is necessary to examine the nature found within humans. After all, it is human nature, and the very essence of being that drives us to discover and explore the unknown. It is ultimately our nature as humans that delineates how we act and how we present ourselves, and to this extent, the moral codes by which we live by.

I believe that whomever was responsible for the bombings meant to bring despair to a city, and to a country. I believe that these people acted out of hate. I believe that the bombings in Boston were an act of evil.

As a Bostonian, who attended the marathon and was on the very street the bombing occurred, I think of the chaos that broke out after the bombs exploded. I heard both bombs detonate, sounding like canons. I quickly went back to my campus’ residence halls. Like many people this day, I was afraid, I was disturbed, and I was disgusted.

I was afraid because I didn’t know what was happening. I was disturbed when I watched the news and saw people frantically seeking help. I was disgusted to hear that these were planted bombs, aimed to harm those who attended the marathon and athletes, and again to find out that the JFK Presidential Library had also been bombed.

I can only empathize with those who had been immediately affected by the bombing and their families. An act of such violence should never have happened.

I don’t understand what drives a person to commit such an act of evil. I don’t understand such contempt or disdain. I don’t believe I ever will.

However, more importantly than this, I do recognize the acts of courage, bravery, and kindness that occurred after the bombings.

In spite of the fear and chaos, Boston’s emergency response units and BPD immediately ran into the smoke to begin helping people. While many people ran away from the scene, some remained to help the casualties. This I believe is the goodness found within humans. I believe that these actions outweigh that of those who seek to harm others.

Furthermore, it is the response from fellow Bostonians and the entire country that re-ensures the goodness in human nature. The support from the local and national community has been tremendous, and I am sure those immediately affected are grateful for all thoughts and prayers. Such acts of violence have brought the nation together in the past, and on this day, the nation has come together again.

It is necessary to keep in mind that the bombs in Boston were not just an attack on the US, but also an attack on the world. Over 93 countries were represented by athletes in the marathon. With this in mind, the world must come together to defend against such acts of violence.

I believe that Boston will recover, although things may never be the same. I believe with the helping hand of a neighbor, and the thoughtfulness of a community, Boston will grow stronger and closer. The victims will never be forgetten. I do hope that this country’s administration and government seeks more preventive measures and brings justice to the situation.

On this day, and from this day forth:

Hold you loved ones a little closer.

Help those around you.

Take the time to appreciate all that life has to offer.

Protect the good in human nature.

Protect innocence.

Defend against violence.

Believe in community.

Fight for what you believe in.

On this day, and on all days, God bless America.

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The Arrival of Spring

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

I’ve always been captivated by the first snow fall of winterthe way the pure white snow falls and rests upon every tree and upon the soilhas always brought me a sense of peace and serenity. Although I admire the beauty of the freshly fallen powder, I cannot help but to be saddened by what is to come: slush, slippery roads, and power outages. The once innocent snow is soon stained by dirt and people are suddenly despondent and gloomy.

Winter takes a lot out of an individual. Yet, in this same way, winter is also the promise of spring.

For those who are patient, and endure the aggressive weather that winter entails, there is a reward. This reward lies not in a material matter, but rather in the change of seasons.

It was around morning when my father asked me to take a short walk with him. I went to reach for my winter coat, and he suggested I wear something lighter. I walked outside, and before I could say anything –

“Shh,” He whispered, “Can you hear the spring bird singing?”

And just as those words fell into my ear, a bird began to sing. Although I am not an expert on birds, I like to think that this bird was singing to express his contentment with the sunshine that I could feel beaming own onto my shoulders, warming my skin.

I thought to myself, this is the promise of spring. It was finally the end of winter.

Although I cannot honestly say that spring is my favorite season, it perhaps may be one of the most uplifting and enlightening. The rising temperature, sunshine, and flowers all seemingly bring out a cheerier side to people.

The arrival of spring is, in many ways, the indicator of the growth that is to come. People’s spirits are awoken, as if the world is coming back to life after the harsh winter. Spring is simply something I look forward to.

The trees begin to grow new leaves, and the flowers begin to bloom; nature is born again.

Each day I awake to the sound of the birds singing their springtime praise.

Open up your eyes and ears. Can you hear them?

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Nature in the City

There are moments that I walk around the city and feel completely overwhelmed by the enormous skyscrapers, and the hurrying crowds of people. One is easily consumed by the fast-pace here, and can seemingly lose track of self and time.

Yet, in a city like Boston, there is nature around every turn, and on every corner.

As I walk to the nearest cafe, I hear the buzz of traffic around me, I see people scurrying from street to street, and I feel a sense of independence and, at times, isolation. People have a tendency to feel alone, it is in our nature. And some, in the city, tend to feel alone more often than not. But for me, it merely takes a moment to regain a sense of belonging.

Along the same street, I’ll see off to the side a river weaving itself underneath bridges and to the side of walking paths. In the winter, the river is frozen with ice, and the trees surrounding it offer a canopy of soft, fragile snow. It only takes a moment to change your perspective and focus your attention to a different aspect of life. There is the ability to look, and the ability to see. Many people may look at, for example, the river but think nothing of it, while some may see the river and understand the profoundness of nature.

Just as nature can grow in the city, so can I.

Sometimes, all it takes is someone to see something that has always been there. Simultaneously, it is just as amazing to see again what you have once seen.

I encourage you all to open your eyes, and see something new. See the beauty in nature, even when you think it does not exist. See what you once saw, and remember how it moved you. I I hope you are as captivated by the way life is connected.

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On Change…

The bitterness of winter is communicated in the frost upon the ground, the barren trees, and in the silence that whispers in the nippy air. Where daffodils once bloomed in the vibrant spring and summer, a hint of white marks the ground. A cold that can no longer rest, lingers in every piece of grass, and in every frozen leaf that has fallen from the trees. What once was, is not forever gone, but is frozen in time, resonating memories and essence.

Just as a stream that was once trickling with the sun’s reflection sparkling in every ripple now freezes, the human soul is inherently designed to go through cycles. Some cycles will occur each year, while some cycles are rare.

This is my first post in quite some time. I’ve been trying to focus on my first semester of college at a liberal arts college in Florida. However, I feel as if it’s time to begin reflecting on life through my writing once again. I cannot say that I am the same person, for time and experience has changed me, perhaps weathered me and enlightened me simultaneously. This I declare as growth, as change, and as maturity.

Although my experience in Florida was wonderful, I decided to return to New England to attend college in Boston. I feel as if I am picking up where I left off last year, on my journey to learn to “live deliberately”. I know now, as I knew then, that the best way to learn about myself and the world is through experience and through nature. I feel that Boston is the perfect setting to combine both new experiences with a familiar setting close to the places of nature that I love and call home. Perhaps what is more profound than the change of setting, is the change in self.

From my decisions, both ones that I regret and ones I am proud of, I have become more confident in myself. I feel a change inside me, one that pushes me and inspires me to explore not only the world around me but my innermost yearnings and aspirations as well. I am not only learning to explore and grow, but I am learning how to lead a modest life. I feel I have changed for the better, as a wiser and more-well rounded being. Although, there is always much to learn.

Even the smallest seed can grow into the tallest of trees. Even in the coldest winter lies warmth. And in the simplest things lies beauty. With a little time, all things must grow and change in some shape or form.

I have discovered that change happens when we least expect it, and when we promote it. Change is healthy, and change is complicated. But I promise that it is worth the wait. 

I hope you and everyone you know experience a moment of clarity and purpose as I have. I truly believe that each person i destined to find the simplicity in life and cherish it. I’m glad to be writing once again, and pleased to continue my journey to “live deliberately”, just as Thoreau would want.

I carry my special addition of Walden that I received from my English teacher and mentor around with mostly everywhere. There is opportunity everywhere, grasp it, challenge it, and cherish it. 

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On Pleasure…

“There is pleasure in the pathless woods;

There is rapture on a lonely shore;

There is society, where none intrudes;

By deep sea, and music in its roar;

I love not man the less, but nature more.”

-Lord Byron

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A Reflection…

I took this picture with my Nikon on self timer while I sat on the side of Walden Pond. When I returned home from my trip and looked at this picture, it reminded me of how peaceful I felt. I was not overjoyed, nor was I unhappy, but I was in harmony with the whispering wind, the resting water, and the flowing of my thoughts. In this moment I understood what it is to be content…

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