Tag Archives: nature’s beauty

I smiled yesterday

I smiled yesterday. Smiled despite the excessive heat and the gritty dust and sand and the annoying no see ums. I smiled and it felt a little strange, a little different than the furrowed brow and stressed frown that has become part of my office attire. I smiled involuntarily because I went out to meet Nature and I found her. I found the road less traveled. And yet that road-cautioned as unimproved – was actually a well- graded dirt road that led to somewhere; somewhere famous and beautiful. Grosvenor Arch is about 20 miles from Cannonville, Utah in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is featured on a sticker that I buy and sell hundreds of regularly – one of those stickers for National Parks Passport Books. It is beautiful. Grosvenor Arch is named after Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor – known as the father of photojournalism – the president of National Geographic Society – and a friend of National Parks. Grosvenor Arch is situated fittingly as a neighbor to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

And here’s the thing; Grovesnor Arch is way out there on the dirt road, yet there is a sign. More noticeably, there is a concrete path that leads from the parking area up towards the arch. This path has resting benches along the way. The path is intentionally constructed and maintained to lead visitors to the best possible view of the arch – the photographer’s perspective. The path ends in a pedestrian cul-de-sac that clearly indicates “stand here.” “Take a photo here.” And still Nature beckons me deeper into the juniper forest, the cool cleft of the rock. Beauty restores. Nature refreshes. And Nature makes me smile.

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Getting Back Your Best Game

She was new to this place and it had been a grueling two months. The face in the mirror looked her age – no longer youthful and refreshed. She had slipped into working every day of her life (again) in a mad bid to catch up, to get settled, to get a grip. BTDT in her twenties. Sometimes you have to pull out all the stops for a season – but she knew it was now time to get her game back.

She insisted on a half day off. It was only herself she argued with. She made herself take it. Half day out of seven, but it was a start in the right direction. She took a long hike. She sloshed her feet through the sand and water at the edge of the river and let the rushing water chill the raging worry and the work addiction within her. She sat on a rock in perfect spring sunshine. It turned out to be a comfortable rock – so comfortable she leaned back and closed her eyes and hazarded letting her mind drift like the gently gurgling riffle.

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How long had it been since she said that phrase, “These are the best years of my life?” She used to mean it. Now life felt suspiciously like some of the earlier years; grasping, gasping for survival.

She longed to laugh at a well-turned phrase, to feel the wind of adventure in her face, to see and hear new beauty.

“Take a look back,” she said to herself, “What were you doing? When was the last time you felt, really felt you were at the top of your game? The last time you said with sincerity, ‘These are the best years’?”

She remembered those deeply spiritually reviving days of living on the edge of beautiful places, of hiking before the heat of the day, of watching a sunrise, of strolling a beach at sunset. Times of letting nature nourish and nurture.

Those were the times she was dating herself; taking herself to an event or a concert-traveling – finding how to love herself so she might in turn love her neighbor as herself.

Those were the times she was eating with thought and care and great appetite for the healthful.

Those were the times she tucked into bed at a comfortable hour and woke naturally without necessity of an alarm or agenda.

So now, lounging on the rock like a lizard, she pondered, “How did I get to that soul- healthy position in the first place?” Part of it was a product of a resolution to live the next 365 days as though they were all she had. Part of it was allowing herself to be steeped in music and art.

She had a well-balanced brain and at one time had made the decision to live more fully in her right brain – her creative brain – with her organized left brain always guiding her. Now she wondered if it was possible to live in her left brain – forge ahead in organizational success –while letting her right brain guide her.   It was a grand experiment.

She didn’t want to give up the corporate part of life – the paycheck. Some of the best times of life to be had are times when you share with others. Her one big reason for having a job, for making money, was to have something to share.

But now she knew it was time to nourish and nurture that spiritual side again. Not all day. Not in lieu of the practical, but every single day in tandem with the practical.

More nature

More exercise out of doors

More music

More love

Less addiction to work stress and more commitment to working smart

Managing smarter

Embracing the beauty in work

Mini vacations

Why do you work? What do you love? What nurtures and nourishes your soul?



Forgetting Awesome, Extinguishing Desire

I work in a location of incredible natural beauty. People spend their vacations and their money to come here, yet I am here five days a week courtesy of my job.  Amazingly, the beauty is so magnetic, I often head to my place of work on my days off just to hike and enjoy and know it better.   The words; breathtaking, inspiring, centering and clarifying come to mind.

But sometimes I forget.   Not a senior moment type of forgetfulness; rather, a crowded out by cares and worries kind of forgetfulness. If I work long hours – say dawn to dusk – and then rush to visit extended family, or shop for groceries, there is no time to hike.  If I have been on my feet all day and my body is screaming for dinner; chances are I will sink fatigued into the car seat and hurry to my next appointment – perhaps at a laundromat – with nary a glance at the grandeur.  After a few days, I feel vaguely dissatisfied. I forget the awesome. My desire is extinguished.  Just like that, the beauty that once drove me mad with desire; delirious with abundance of joy is snuffed out.  The honeymoon is over.

I worked the early shift today. The great outdoors was so alluring when I exited the office, I could not resist the urge to pull on my walking shoes. It was too chilly to change to the cropped off athletic gear I always tote perchance of adventure, so I added layers to my work clothes and took off down the trail. The cold was invigorating. Half a mile later I was gobsmacked by the beauty.


To think, fatigued, hungry and driven, I almost hurried to my car and on to the next item on my list.

As I walked I mused how all of life is like that.  In the crush of the mundane, I allow myself to slowly reel in the desire.  I pack it on ice.

In other words, after a few days of inattention to the beloved; after the interruption of a 40-hour workweek; perhaps mounting tension on the job or with the budget, the motivation goes away.  Through lack of use, desire is extinguished. The thing that used to be my emotional life-blood becomes ho hum, why should I exert myself?

And that is why in every avenue of endeavor we need to be constantly reminded;

Every day, tell her (him) you love her (him)

Keep the romance alive

Write a little every day if you are a writer

Are you a musician? Sit down and love that instrument every day.

Does beauty and the great outdoors nourish you? For heaven’s sake, don’t neglect yourself.

Quit being a martyr for expectations and the mundane. Feed the need. Nourish your desire.  Only then will you be wholehearted enough to actually give your best on the job.