It’s the busiest time of the year, as we gear up for the holidays and prepare for parties and gift exchanges, family gatherings and feasts. It’s also the time of year when thoughts turn to gratitude – gratitude for those families who may drive us crazy through the rest of the year, gratitude for our successes and good fortune.
It’s easy to get swept up in the momentum of the season, whether we’re busily working to wrap up projects for the year, planning an event, or thinking ahead to what’s next. That’s what makes it even more important to take a moment to experience and practice gratitude.
Here at GROUNDS KEEPER, our mission is to bring the beauty and joy of the outdoors to each person we work with. We’re passionate about the power of nature to heal, nurture and sustain us, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to share this mission and turn dreams into reality every day.
It’s in that spirit that we’d like to share a few thoughts on practicing gratitude for all that nature has to offer, and taking a moment to experience the joy it brings – this season and all year.
Gratitude For Visual Beauty
Step into your garden for a moment and let gratitude bloom like the flowers, trees and shrubs that surround you. Each bloom and autumn leaf expresses nature’s artistry, a kaleidoscope of colors that captivates the heart and nourishes the soul.
From the towering trees that provide shelter to the gardens that offer sanctuary, the flit of a butterfly or the darting of a bird, feast your eyes on the colors and textures, the depth and shape of each element that crosses your field of vision.
Appreciate how the tall grasses dance and sway in a breeze, and how water plays along a bed of stones. Use your time outdoors to explore the details that so often go overlooked – the shape of a stone or the color of a pinecone, the tiniest insect traversing a porch railing.
Let your inner poet free to wonder over the intricate tapestry of the landscape, finding beauty in the ordinary.
Gratitude For Soothing Sounds
With the hectic clamoring of the world today, it can be challenging to escape the constant calls for our attention, the alerts that ping us, the phones that ring, the whir of computers and machinery. But your outdoor space is there, an oasis in an auditory storm.
Amidst your gardens and the sanctuary of your own yard, gratitude sings like the chirping of the birds, nature’s orchestra creating soothing rhythms that calm the soul. Listen to the rustling of leaves, the stirring of branches, the whispers of a breeze. The rhythmic susurrations of a waterfall can invite a profound sense of peace that envelops you like a comforting embrace, a balm for overworked minds and weary souls. Let its symphony lull you into a sense of tranquility.
Be attentive to sounds as you move through your environment – the snapping of a twig or the soft sigh of grass as your feet sink into it. Let the chirps, rustles, crackles and soughing play their melody as you flow with the cadence of the natural world.
Gratitude For Tactile Pleasures
As part of your gratitude walk, let your fingers explore the beauty around you. Run your hands over the rough bark of a tree, imagining the tales etched there. Reach beneath your feet and brush your palms against the soft blades of grass. Choose a stone and pick it up, appreciating its cool texture, rough or smooth, round or jagged.
Let your skin experience the touch of a breeze, whether warm or cool, fleeting or persistent, gentle or commanding. Feel how the sun warms you, or how the air cools you.
Each petal, leaf, and droplet of water can become a meditative moment as you experience the living, breathing tapestry of the natural world. Let each touch reminds you of our visceral connection with nature and its power so vital to our well-being.
Gratitude For Refreshing Scents
Gratitude floats on the very air as the myriad scents of nature tease and delight your nose. Scent is often the most overlooked sensory experience but nature abounds with aromas that can soothe, calm and heal.
Close your eyes and inhale the scent of the earthy soil, musty leaves, pine needles warmed by the sun. See if you can pick out a salty tang from an ocean breeze, or the clean, crisp scent of cool air as it blows across the grass. Let the scent of fresh herbs waft across the yard and awaken your senses. Experience the unique scents of autumn, a wood burning fire, a copse of evergreens, the sweetly fragrant aroma of fallen leaves.
Savor the richness of the scents and the emotions they invoke, remembering to take a moment to be grateful for the gifts that nature bestows.
As the holiday season descends with its unique joys and pleasures and its corollary stresses and pressures, cherish the moments of tranquility that you can find by spending time outdoors. Let’s appreciate nature’s generosity with a deep sense of gratitude for the bounty freely available to us, not only this season but all year long.
We wish you the happiest of everything thing holiday season and a rich sense of the abundance around us.