Nature has proven itself to be the greatest source of solace for me. Not from the beginning ~ it was months, perhaps even more than a year, before I became of aware of my surroundings again. I remember identifying a migrating sparrow on the sidewalk one day, surprised that the recesses of my mind had produced a name in response to a familiar annual sighting. It seemed odd to me that such a sparrow still existed, and that it still had a name. My inner world was that altered.
When our children were small, we went to the Florida beach every spring. I don’t know what these particular starfish are called, but they frequently appear along the Atlantic coast south of St. Augustine. We used to occasionally place one of our finds into a bucket of sand and saltwater and take it up to our porch to watch for awhile. Eventually, satisfied by having enjoyed its companionable presence for a bit, we would return it to the waves.
Last month, we ventured to the beach again. I felt very brave, returning to what had been the site of such joyful times for me. It had taken more than a decade, and perhaps that would turn out not to have been long enough.
The starfish are still there.
What about you? What creatures or sights in the natural world call out to you, saying, “Remember, and come home to yourself”?