Natural Escape

Brenna - devon, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: peace

I believe in the power of small moments and small things. These are moments when the frenetic pace of life can slow down and we become aware of the little things surrounding us that we never even realized were there. Today life is full of many demands and choices. Often we spend so much time looking towards the future and preparing for what’s coming, that we forget where we are in the moment. But it is these small moments, being fully present, that are so important to the very core of our being.

When we are so wrapped up in our thoughts and worries, the result is that we fail to stop and really look around us. We fail to see the beauty of the natural world; a beauty that can create a deep sense of peace and belonging. It is this sense of connection to the earth that we seem to have lost. So it’s important to find these small moments whenever we can. It’s something we must consciously make ourselves do.

One place that I find these moments is on my way to the bus stop each morning. In this interval between my early morning frenzy to get ready for school and the chaos and stress of the school day, I find the opportunity to appreciate the bigger picture of life. Each morning I burst from my house and make my way down our long, tree-lined driveway to catch the bus. Usually it is dark and amazingly quiet. And that’s one of the first things that I notice. This sense of solitude is intensified by the fact that I’m mostly walking through the woods. And that’s when I first hear the hooting of an owl. It’s there almost every day and since I know that I’m the only one around, I feel as if the owl is greeting me personally. Sometimes as I draw closer to the road I’ll see the blur of a fox dashing across the empty street. Other times there will be a rustle in the leaves and I’ll see a deer, standing completely silent looking at me., each of us a little surprised to see the other. Sometimes as I begin my walk down the hill I’ll glance and see the rosy pink of the sky lightening ahead of me and the dark silhouettes of the trees standing out in bold relief. Now as spring is coming the woods are even more alive with the chatter and songs of birds.

But then this peaceful stillness is broken by the deep rumble of the bus approaching, the screeching halt as it stops, and the artificial flashing lights. The natural world quickly disappears but not my sense of it. Even though this has only been ten minutes of my day, these small moments, noticing this natural beauty that surrounds me, allows me to center myself again and makes me realize just how many beautiful things surround me if I take the time to notice them.