Every now and then, I still have to stop and try and process the fact that our entire planet is in the grips of a pandemic. It's not just in China, or somewhere "over there," or happening to "other people." It's everywhere. Mind-boggling. (Also, "other people" are people, too. And to them, we're the "other people.")

As a result, the collective anxiety of everyone is heightened. Whether you feel this whole thing is a crazy hoax (it's not), or find yourself on the opposite extreme panicking for your loved ones, it's having an effect on our sense of well-being. Throw in the headlines designed to grab our attention and pull it one way or the other and you've got a recipe for an un-restful emotional stew.

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I guess that's why I'm extra thankful for nature right now. I adore being outside (unless it's August in East Texas, but that's another story.) But when the human world seems extra intense, I am sure it's the "green cathedral" that helps me stay as peaceful as possible.

Although I'm bummed this quarantine is happening to us at one of the most stunningly beautiful times of year in East Texas, at the same time maybe it's a grace. Even as we do our best to stay home and not gather in crowds, we can still wander outdoors and spend time with the trees, the flowers, and listen to the birds who are not at all anxious right now. (Except to find food for the baby birds hatching everywhere, of course.) ;)

This weekend I just sat outside for awhile and listened. And noticed. And let the full opera of nature hold me in its audience for awhile. It's funny. When you go outside and become still and quiet, the natural rhythms around you will start to re-commence. It's glorious. It's heart-calming. I recommend it so very much.

Nature is a beautiful reminder that despite our troubles in the human world, there is still so much life happening all around us and so, so much for which to be grateful.

Sending love to you and yours. Stay safe. Go outside--um, but 6 feet away from your neighbor, of course. ;)

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