Have you ever really stopped to consider what it is that makes your lives worthwhile. Having just started up a Gratitude Journal – yes, I watch Oprah too – I am beginning to realize that it is the little things that make the biggest impression on us. Having a large home, a good car and a well-paid job are all very satisfying but I guarantee that when you start writing down the things that really touch your heart, many of these will be small and natural.
My own journal includes many things like…”Seeing a different variety of wild grass growing in clumps” “Seeing the first dandelions flowering” “The snowdrops and primroses in my garden” “Hearing the birds singing as I work” “Seeing crows flying overhead” “Looking at the perfect shapes of trees” etc.
If you do nothing else this week, please make a point of noticing all the little natural things that give you joy. In the hussle and bussle of daily life it is so easy to overlook these things. Even when they disappear we may not be exactly sure of what we are missing, just certain that something once valued, once important is now no longer in our lives.
So how do we keep these things? Firstly, we must be aware of the fact that we have them and that they are valuable. Just like at home, it is far easier to loose something that we forget we own or something that we do not recognise as valuable. Only by becoming aware of the things we love about nature can we ever hope to preserve it.
Secondly, we need to ask why we have these gifts.. Let’s look at my list again.
New GrassThe different variety of grass grows in one place only, a patch of green that is not being persistently mown by the council. It is a large grassy space which is low lying and often wet. This makes it difficult to cut. Most of the rest of the grass verges are uniform and dull.
DandelionsThe dandelions are one of the few really abundant wildflowers in this area. The reason for this is that they were considered unworthy flowers for picking when I was young. Bluebells however, which were picked in armfuls, are now quite rare.
Snowdrops and Primroses The snowdrops and primroses in my garden are garden escapees. My philosophy is to allow plants to arrive in my tiny front garden and only take out any that look as if they are taking over. Result, I have snowdrops, primroses, bluebells, tiny wild flowers, nettles (for the butterflies), some brambles (providing food for birds) and even a couple of docks – now quite rare in this area.