Spirit of Dragonflies, LLC

Kripalu Mindfulness Outdoor Experience Guide & Life Coach – Get Outside. Go Within.


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Into the Forest – One Step At A Time Finding Inner Peace

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity” ~ John Muir ~

One need not go into the woods to hike or even walk very far to enjoy the benefits of nature. You only need to slow down and listen to the leaves crunch under your feet, smell the fresh scent of trees and earth, listen to the birds and the rustle of leaves in the wind to become connected to the natural rhythm of life.

“Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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Stop, breathe and look around. Do you see the tiny flowers peeking out below you.

Do you stop to converse with the trees? Stand for a little while and wait for an invite from one of the trees. Of course they will not speak so you can hear them however you may feel an energy from one or two trees tug at you more so than others. Those are the trees you should spend time with. What kind of bark do they have – smooth or thick and rough? Are the large roots on the ground around the tree or are they hidden under the soil? What does the bark feel like? Touch it for a few minutes to see if you can feel the water running up from the roots to the branches above. Imagine how many years this tree has stood in this spot. Imagine all of the people walking through who may never have taken the time to enjoy its company. Imagine what experiences this tree has witnessed. If it is an older tree think of the possibilities – Native Americans, droughts or floods, insect infestation, fires, deforestation of other trees . . .

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

Sit down on a rock and listen to the waterfalls or the birds singing in the trees. Is it cooler in the woods that it was on the road traveling to the woods? Can you distinguish the different types of birds that are singing? Maybe you can hear an owl hooting in the distance or another bird signaling that there is a hawk in the area. Is it quiet near the pond or can you still hear traffic in the distance? What colors are you noticing? I love to notice all of the shades of green to yellow.

Sitting taking in the reflections on the water is my favorite. Last weekend while visiting Yaddo Garden in Saratoga Springs, NY, I slowly walked around the gardens – which are not in bloom yet – and spent some time standing near the pond listening to the small waterfalls across the road. The highway is nearby so there is a constant roar of car wizzing by on their way north and south of Saratoga. Once you overcome the constant drone it becomes easier to hear the bird’s songs and the peace in the wooded area. I stayed with one of the trees a little longer than the others and meditated for a short time in the peaceful environment.

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ~ John Muir~

Stop and take notice of the beautiful green moss growing on the trees and rocks. Lean down and touch the cool, moist surface.

“We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home, in towns and cities.” ~ George W. Sears, writer & conservationist ~

You don’t have to be in the middle of a thick forest to enjoy nature, you can benefit from sitting on a bench under the shade of a tree in your own yard or in a local park. In the spring you have the pleasure of magnolia blossoms, lilacs, Lilies of the Valley, and many other treasures to enjoy.

“Without new experiences, something inside of us sleeps. The sleeper must awaken.” ~ Frank Herbert, novelist ~


Flowers and buds are blooming along streets everywhere. It is beneficial to take time and notice how life continues. From the decay of the winter months new growth appears giving hope for the future. Colors, birds singing, there are smells of earth, flowers, trees in the air, different textures can be seen from tree to tree, leaf to leaf, flower to flower. We just have to open our senses to the beauty and diversity all around us.

“Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.” ~ Edward Abbey, novelist ~

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As the sun is setting, notice above in the tree line how some trees are still capturing the sunshine while others are beginning to fall into the shadows.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau ~

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Sometimes while traveling for work I’ll pull along the side of the road and get out of the car to stretch and take a nature break. One never knows what they will find along the road and taking the back roads is my favorite because there are ponds, lakes, rivers, forests, and parks along the way. My camera is always sitting on the seat behind me however I do not always carry it when I get out of the car. Sometimes it is nice to just walk along slowly and become one with nature.

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” ~ Walt Whitman, poet & writer ~

Do you stop to enjoy nature on a regular basis? My goal is to be in nature daily with longer visits on the weekends. At the end of summer I shall be traveling across southern Utah to enjoy sleeping in a tent under the stars with my cousin. One thing I truly look forward to witnessing is Dark Sky when the night will fill with stars that cannot be seen from where I live. It will be magnificent with everyday bringing a new adventure and beauty to take in. In the meantime, Spring is here and there are so many treasures to enjoy at this moment that I look forward to what lie ahead every day.

Love and Light!

 


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Awakening – Spring is in the Air

This week, show us an image of an awakening. I’ve chosen a photo of a fiddlehead, the structure that rises from the ground, eventually to unfurl into the leaves of a fern. Those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are headed into autumn, and your environment is preparing for a winter rest. Your interpretation doesn’t have to be botanical in nature. I’m eager to see what you all share.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

Spring and new awakenings. Love witnessing plant life reaching out from Mother Earth ready to greet the sun. I feel the same way. Awakening from the winter slumber ready to reach out to the sunlight and connect my bare feet to the earth once again.

“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the whole wide world’s joy.” ~Henry Ward Beecher ~

“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.”  ~ Gary Snyder ~

And, this little guy with a lightweight coat ready to try out his new wheelbarrow. He is ready to get outside and hug trees, make mud pies, and enjoy the renewed greenery of spring. I am sure he is ready to go barefoot once again as well.

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Looking forward to some more warm days with windows open, sheers dancing in the breeze, sunlight decorating the floor, and long walks in nature.

If you would like to view additional photos or would like to enter your own, please click on the link below:

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/awakening

Love and Light!


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Enjoying a Spring Day!

After a nice day or sorting, decluttering and cleaning I took some time to enjoy nature. Thought I would share some photos from today’s walk. First I discovered that the flowers are peeking out from the ground near my house. Then walked out in back to visit the hiking trails and ponds. The buds are on the trees, kayakers enjoying the water, and then continued on the walk to the local park to find all sorts of  birds enjoying the spring day. As I was taking a shot of the geese one decided to fly off and as you will see from the photo looked like he was heading right my way.

For those of you reading this blog who live where it is warm most of the year, you may not understand the happiness we feel here in upstate New York after the long cold, snowy winter. Although I do love snow, now that it is April I am ready for sunshine and warmer weather. To have the windows open with a nice breeze was heavenly. To walk outside without a jacket, refreshing. To listen and see all of nature opening up, to hear the birds singing and to see the little birds and critters simply blissful. Feeling very grateful to enjoy all the pleasures of nature and life.

Love and Light,
Sandy


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Signs of Spring

Happy Spring – What a beautiful day!!

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. Rainer Maria Rilke

This afternoon felt like a true spring day with sunshine, warmth, and melted snow. I was able to breath in the fresh air while walking in the local park. Every season brings a sense of joy but there is nothing like the warmth of sunshine after a long, cold winter.

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New buds

Sunshine pouring in the windows, fresh air from open windows, buds on trees and bushes, ducks playing in the ice free pond, the swing waiting for a little one. I think Spring has finally sprung.

 

The ducks were enjoyed dancing along the top of the water which is now free of ice. Feeling very grateful and looking forward to my first sighting of dragonflies.

Love and Light,
Sandy