Noticing and Appreciating Nature–and Life

There’s so much to appreciate about my life every single day, and I make a big point of taking time to smell the roses and notice how lucky I am. I never want to take that for granted.” – Josie Maran

Today is your big moment. Moments, really. The life you’ve been waiting for is happening all around you. The scene unfolding right outside your window is worth more than the most beautiful painting.” – Shauna Niequist

I’d been inside most of the day, volunteering at the church library and then using my home computer. I had only been outside to walk to my car. This is easy to do, isn’t it? We get caught up at work or caught up with projects and soon, the day is gone. This particular day, I felt I’d eaten too much, and I hadn’t gotten any exercise. It was getting dark, and I knew I had to move now or it wouldn’t happen. Overcoming some resistance, I went outside.

I walked in my neighborhood with a million thoughts in my head. Suddenly, I realized I’d passed my favorite area without noticing. I had walked mindlessly across the bridge by a man-made lake in our subdivision.

picture of the bridge by the lake IMG_2759

picture of woman on a bench by the lake IMG_2763I wonder how often we do this? How often do we go through our days without enjoying nature and without noticing the beauty around us?

I decided to retrace my steps and to make sure to notice the area this time. It was a beautiful fall day. The temperature was comfortable with a slight breeze. Leaves crunched under my feet. Geese were strutting about and squawking. One of them was eight feet from me—he didn’t seem to mind my presence.

I went home with my spirits lifted, thankful for the beauty I’d found by a retention pond in our ordinary suburb. I hope the pictures from my smart phone show a bit of the beauty.

picture of the lake IMG_2755

picture of goose IMG_2765

picture of the creek IMG_2762This time of year, it is easy to be sedentary. The days are getting cooler, with less daylight. We want to be comfortable, and comfort is good. But too much comfort can make us sedentary. Then it takes more effort to move, and we become even more sedentary. This is an unhealthy cycle.

Let’s you and I choose a better way. Let’s make an effort to leave our comfortable homes sometimes, go outside, and move our bodies. And notice what’s around us.

The days go by too fast. If we pay attention to the hours and days, we will appreciate our lives.

What do you need to notice and appreciate? What beauty do you see in your neighborhood?

About Susan Ekins

Freelance writer and blogger at Women Making Strides. Interested in personal leadership and empowerment. Wanting inspiration and to inspire. Leader in church ministries. Blog: Facebook page:
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8 Responses to Noticing and Appreciating Nature–and Life

  1. Oh, Sue, this touched my spirit right now. I had been having the same feeling this day, busy with household “things” and my mind on other “things”. On a drive to the store, I decided to take a detour to a nature area. Though it was raining, I managed to walk about a bit, taking in the colors and clearing my mind. Your photos are so lovely and the quotes particularly meaningful to me, especially Shauna Niequist, which I may borrow for a post of my own. 🙂

    As I pulled into our drive a doe stood up from her nap, stared me in the eyes, and then walked away. Pretty cool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Ekins says:

    Penny, Kudos to you for walking a bit in the rain. You set a good example for leaving a comfortable place to enjoy nature and get a little exercise. I can picture the doe making eye contact and agree, that’s pretty cool. I’m happy to have included a quote that spoke to you so much you might use it also. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KATHY says:

    I’ve noticed on stressful days, that if I take a step outside and sit under a tree, the weight on my shoulders is lifted enough to help me carry out with the day. Love the trees.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I walk two miles a day and always feel refreshed when I return home. Nature is a great healer.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Paula Crow says:

    How true, Sue. We all need to take in “the moment”. Sometimes at church my attention will be drawn inward and away from what is most important, only to realize moments later that I missed some precious. 🤟

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      I get distracted at Church too, Paula, although my distractions are most often from noticing other parishioners. I’ve started closing my eyes during the readings which helps me pay attention better. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to be focused at Church.


  6. Paula Crow says:

    On further reflection of this blog I am reminded of a woman in a sharing group who came to the same realization by taking her two year old granddaughter for a walk — a walk of stop-and-starts’ mostly stops — stops to examine a rock, a flower, a bug. Her “ah-ha” moment came when she realized her granddaughter’s observation,curiosity and inquizativeness was teaching to her to observe, to live in the moment and appreciate and enjoy all that was around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susan Ekins says:

      I love that. It reminds me of a friend who said she walked with her granddaughter to the corner and they sat on (I think) a utility box and waved at all the cars going by. Her grandchild was so delighted with responses from the drivers and passengers that they stayed there for more than an hour. This woman lives in a large, beautiful home, but her pleasure came from watching her granddaughter enjoying the small actions of strangers.


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