Daily Connector | Moments of beauty | Verdene Thompson

When I consider what has sustained me during this difficult time, what comes to mind are moments of beauty in nature.  When Gary and I decided several years ago to spend the wintertime near my family in Arizona, one of the things that excited us was exploring the west.   As native Buckeyes neither of us had lived more than two hundred miles from where we were born.  Early in the pandemic, when a month felt like a long isolation, we took a drive to see the desert spring. It was a beautiful day and I recall it often when feeling pent up.  It gives me comfort to know that the desert mountains and canyons were here long before any of us existed and that they will remain long after we are gone.

On mornings when I awaken with an uneasy feeling of anxiety I am reassured by the hummingbird I call “Dipper” who comes to drink and bathe each morning in the fountain bubbler outside my kitchen window.  He seems unbothered by the myriad of issues that threaten to push me to panic.  Maybe his trust is stronger than mine.

In the afternoon, a mockingbird sings and sings from the long thorny canes of the ocotillo and a mother quail gathers her chicks to rest under the shade of a prickly pear.  They provide a lovely respite.

In the evenings I take some deep breaths and allow time to recall everything for which I am grateful.  For steady work, which calls me to consider how I might be more generous.  For family and friends, who remain faithful despite separation.  For safe housing and ample food…and reasonable health.  Then as I drift off I revel in the calls of the coyotes, gathering their families to share in a successful hunt.  

I recall the writing of Rachel Carson, who says in her book, “The Sense of Wonder”:

“Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties of the earth are never alone or weary of life.  Whatever the vexations or concerns of their personal lives, their thoughts can find paths that lead to inner contentment and to renewed excitement in living.  Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.  There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring.  There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after the winter.”

In these difficult days, I pray we will all find moments of beauty to sustain us.