Nature’s Delights

I have always been a nature buff.

As a child, growing up in a somewhat rural area in New England, I was outdoors as much as possible, soaking up the sun, reveling in the wind in my face, delighting in the sights and sounds of nature: birds, squirrels, bunnies, flowers, trees, and even bugs.

It’s probably what saved me in some ways, immersed as I was in a rather joyless environment otherwise. Nature constantly regulated my otherwise chronically disregulated nervous system.

This morning I was again immersed in many of nature’s delights, and I thought I’d pass on some of the joy.

In the warmer weather, I like to stand outside first thing in the morning in the sun, doing a grounding exercise I learned from Dr. Elizabeth Stanley.

This morning as I stood there in “mountain pose,” I was distracted by four squirrels racing around the yard, up and down our magnificent red maple tree, and then in the driveway, heading straight for—me! I thought one would crash into my leg, but it abruptly sensed me and turned around. I watched their antics as they got their morning exercise/play time, chasing each other all over the place.

Then I saw my bunny.

I normally love bunnies, but this pair that is probably nesting under our big pine tree–these bunnies have chomped down to the soil all my parsley plants, and even my petunias! I didn’t know they ate petunias. I had to put cayenne pepper on the soil and plant leaves to try to deter them.

view from my porch chair

Today, “my bunny,” (whom I’ve dubbed “Patty Bunny,” because somehow she seems female), came almost up to me as I sat on my porch among the flowers, writing my morning pages.

I was curious whether she would dare approach the petunias in my containers.

She did not. Still too shy. Maybe she picked up on my mental signals: Don’t you dare!

Then I saw a chipmunk on the bush near the porch. Yesterday from my window, my friend saw probably the same chipmunk fall from a branch to the ground, upside down!

After morning pages and breakfast, it was time for my walk. I had just discovered a new bird identification app, Merlin, that allows you to record the surrounding sounds, and it will pop up a picture of the bird making the sounds the app picks up. I learned today to identify a cedar waxwing, house sparrow, house wren, and swallow.

I had been trying to identify the birdsong that I now know was the cedar waxwing for some time. Its song is very melodious.

Then there are the cicadas. Oh my, the cicadas!

Here in the Midwest, especially in Illinois, we are witnessing a once-in-several-lifetimes phenomenon: two broods of periodical cicadas, the 17-year and the 13-year, have all hatched at the same time.

My state, Illinois, marks the boundary between the two broods, so it’s even more of a phenomenon. These two brood hatchings only coincide once every 221 years! I am in the midst of an extremely rare biological event!

These cicadas are big, beautiful, harmless, and LOUD! Their noise hits about 90 decibels, roughly equivalent to the volume of a lawn mower or motorcycle. They are deafening!

Since I’m into sound healing and frequency, I can’t help but wonder: how is the constant vibration of this natural phenomenon affecting my body and the rest of nature? (Actually, it’s not constant. The bugs are quiet at night, and slowly “tune up” as the day progresses. Thank God!)

And why now?

I learned that “late spring and early summer in the forests of the eastern half of the U.S. have been eerily quiet for the past two years. In most years, long-lived periodical cicadas thrum through the region, but a quirk of timing means these insects have been sparse since 2021. This year, though, they’re roaring back.” Is there some purpose of God for having this rare occurrence happen now?

Who knows?

From what I witnessed this morning, it seems like nature is happy. I suspect the birds at least are very happy by the unusual bountiful feast of cicadas.

At any rate, this is an abundant gift that I will take deeply into my highly sensitive soul.

May you also be blessed and your nervous system regulated by nature’s delights.

This is an experience I will definitely add to my Gifts Journal. Recording the delights of the day at the end of the day puts me in a state of gratitude, joy, and a sense of being loved by a God who loves to give good gifts. If you haven’t taken up this practice, I encourage you to start. Here’s how.

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