An important component of any holistic health care plan includes attention to spiritual health and one of the best ways I’ve found to maintain and nourish spiritual health is seeking spiritual comfort through nature.
The two greatest things about nature is that it costs us absolutely nothing and it is at our fingertips every moment of every day. We don’t even have to go anywhere. Just step out into your yard and you are sure to find something wondrous to admire and enjoy. Heck, even if your physical limits keep you from going outside, you can find some comfort by simply looking out your window.
What is more comforting than watching the sunset, the sunrise, a turkey vulture soar across the sky, the clouds rolling by, birds singing in your tree, bunny rabbits and chipmunks foraging under rocks etc. etc.
I live in the southern California high desert in the mountains so I literally live with the wildlife. I consistently have coyotes, bobcats, jackrabbits, birds, snakes etc. right in my back yard. The coyotes stop at my birdbath and get a drink and sometimes even scent mark it. The view from my back yard is endless blue skies with mountains off in the distance.
I even have several bird friends. There is Mr. Bluejay who is so friendly he eats from my hand and even comes in my house. I have to chase him out and then he sits at my window while I work on the computer and begs for a nut. There is Little Wren who also eats from my hand and each spring brings all her babies to the yard. Then there is Friendly Roadrunner who sits on the porch and calls for me to bring her a snack. She too eats from my hand and if I leave the door open, she will walk right in the house too. In the spring she brings her baby too.
I’m from Ohio, and living in the desert is not my first choice. My health problems demand that live in an area with high barometric pressure, low mold and low humidity. Basically I have a love/hate relationship with the desert. I love the constant sunshine, milder winters and absence of mold and humidity, however I hate the summer heat, high winds and rattlesnakes. I respect the rattlesnakes, but I sure wish they weren’t here. I’ve had several encounters with them that were just too close for comfort.
I’ve always been a nature lover and in Ohio everything was plush and green. I feel color deprived here, because most of the time we are pretty barren and void of color. It was hard for me at first to adjust to the desert and find spiritual comfort in the same way I did in Ohio’s nature, but over time I grew to respect and appreciate the beauty that it is found here.
One of the most amazing aspects is how it takes very little for something to sprout up and grow. We get very little rain here, but all it takes it’s a few sprinkles and whallah a little plant flourishes like it had a bucket of water poured on it.
However, this past winter we had a fair amount of rain and it resulted in an abundance of beautiful wildflowers this spring. Some winters we don’t get hardly any rain and when that happens then we don’t get any spring colors.
So today, I thought I’d share some photos I’ve taken this spring. Now, I know that for many of you who live in other parts of the country, these photos are not going to be anything spectacular and some of you may actually laugh at them. In comparison to the beautiful colors that are found outside the desert these may seem like nothing. However, I felt incredibly blessed this year to be able to savor and delight in them. I was able to find more spiritual comfort this spring than any of the other years I’ve been in the desert.
These are my favorite flowers. They lay flat on the ground and are so cute and little.
This is a mother bunny who decided to make her nest right next to my house this year. You can’t see them, but in this photo, she has uncovered her babies and she is straddled over the nest nursing them.
These are flowering vines that actually produce little squashes. They grow wild all over the mountain top and in my backyard.
Here we have a flowering cactus. Some of these can be really stunning.
These purple flowers were rampant on this roadside.
Another cute little yellow one.
Now I know the next three pics are really poor quality, but they are the best I could get. My bird friends are really hard to capture on camera.
Mr. Blue Jay
So there you have it. I know I’m not the best photographer in the world, but that’s okay. You don’t have to be. Get your camera and go out and see what you can find.
No matter where you live nature provides us with an endless source of spiritual comfort and nourishment.