While I was browsing recently through images online, looking for some new pictures I could upload to the library for my art display, a photo of a winding path through a forest caught my eye.

Winding path through a forest.

(Photo credit: Jyri Tiusanen)

Instead of a descriptive title about the forest or path, the caption was “Detour,” which I particularly liked. In our busy modern world, it’s helpful to be reminded that self-nurturing and connecting with nature are not about scrutinizing the to-do list to see where a forest hike can fit into the schedule. We may do better simply to go with the flow of the occasional random detour.

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

After several weeks in winter’s frigid depths, I woke this morning to find bright sunshine and melting snow. To match the light, airy feeling that it inspired, I chose an image for my art display that featured a sunrise over the calm waters of a pond in springtime.

Sunrise over a still pond.

The sunrise photo reminded me of the imaginary pond in Channelwood, the tiny village where I send my stressed-out younger selves to relax. It wasn’t the same area where Peter had been skimming stones in a June blog entry, but it could easily have been another view of the pond. I took a deep breath and pictured myself there, breathing in the fresh air.

Peter and his usual companions were nowhere to be seen. When I turned to the right, I noticed a little girl who looked comfortable in a light cloth poncho over a navy blue dress, with knee socks and penny loafers. She hadn’t been among the visitors to Channelwood before today, but she was immediately recognizable as my seven-year-old past self.

“Well, hello there, Ponch,” I greeted her cheerfully, giving her a nickname just for the fun of it. “What a beautiful morning it is.”

“Mom always wants me to wear the poncho when the temperature is between 60 and 70 Fah-ren-heit,” she informed me, with the last word in a singsong tone, as if enjoying the sound. “And if it’s colder, then I have to wear a coat. The thermometer in the window wasn’t quite at the 60 mark when I came outside, but Mom didn’t notice. And she won’t, either, because she was too busy complaining again about Dad getting a convertible. That’s why I came here, so I wouldn’t have to listen to that. I like the convertible because it’s such a pretty sky blue, and it’s fun when we go to the beach. I want them to quit arguing.”

I found myself wishing I could return to those days of innocence while, at the same time, feeling sorry for my younger self because I knew they weren’t going to last much longer.

“They love you very much and want to take good care of you,” I said, choosing my words carefully, “even if you have to wear a coat sometimes. And when you grow up, that doesn’t mean life has to be a struggle, doing everything on your own. There will be kind people who can help when you need it, because the world is full of them. You just have to look.”

Although I wasn’t entirely sure whether I was trying to convince Ponch or myself, she smiled a little before turning aside to gaze out over the pond—and I felt better too.

I have no cats, but couldn’t resist posting these words of “Cat Wisdom” for Nurturing Thursday when I came across them. Definitely helpful for staying grounded in the depths of winter, especially in a year when it seems like there’s not much better to do but nap beside a sunny window like a cat. Enjoy!

Word-art that says "Cat Wisdom" with many words of advice such as "Always keep your feet grounded."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Like many of us, I’ve gotten low on energy this winter and haven’t done much writing. Of course, in disorienting times like these, it is entirely natural to feel that we need more time to center and nurture ourselves. We shouldn’t feel guilty or call ourselves lazy if we don’t feel like doing much else right now, but should instead follow our instincts and seek out the quiet, restorative power of nature.

Photo of a winter sunset with gold clouds reflecting from ice.

(Image credit: Jonathan Cook-Fisher)

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Halfway through the winter, it’s cold and snowy here, and I’ve been wishing that I could curl up in a nice cozy burrow and hibernate until the world gets back to normal. Not having that ability, I have been looking for comfortable things that give the feeling of a safe, well-furnished burrow, like in all those classic children’s stories with talking animals. Here’s an image that lifted my mood recently—I hope you like it too!

Cup and pine cones with the caption "Favorite Things."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

Early this morning I was in a meeting about the features of a new web tool for my team’s work. Everything looked good, the managers who were on the call seemed happy with my input, and I felt pretty cheerful. All was right with the world.

Then I thought about another meeting I’d had last year, when this project was just getting underway. I had to present some information and felt nervous about it, worrying that I was getting things wrong and taking too much time, etc. Of course, nobody really thought I was that awful, but I let my imagination run away with me.

Today I felt much calmer and more confident. After everything that has happened over the past year, it’s getting easier to push aside those pointless little worries that once took up so much mental space.

Word-art that says "I got this."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

January 25, 2021 · 4 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

A few months ago, when I was browsing through the online library collection for the digital art display in my dining room, an image of a quaint faraway city captured my attention. Deep blue shadows on a stony hillside framed the city’s rooftops.

City rooftops framed by a blue-shadowed hillside.

I put it in my favorites folder, wondering, as I did so, just what I was going to do with it. Usually I try to match the image on the art display to the ambient light coming in through my windows, so that I can trick my brain into seeing it as a “window” onto a new landscape or cityscape every day.

“Maybe in the middle of winter,” I said to myself doubtfully. That blue was quite striking, but it didn’t look like any natural light that ever came into my ordinary suburban house. Sure enough, it sat in my favorites for months, without coming close to looking like a good match.

This morning I woke up to a gloomy Monday sky that couldn’t quite make up its mind whether it wanted to snow or rain, so it split the difference by leaving the ground coated in an icy bluish glaze. Something about that color looked familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it until I opened the art display’s app to choose an image for the day. There it was—the deep blue cityscape—just perfect!

There hasn’t been much snow in my area this winter, just a dusting on Christmas. The forecast for Monday predicts either heavy snow or rain. Ordinarily I would’ve been hoping to avoid the snow, but life seems so relaxed right now that I’d be okay with it. No reason to go anywhere, and working from home means the driveway doesn’t need to be cleared—so it’s all good, whatever happens.

Word-art that says "Let it snow."

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.

January 20, 2021 · 2 comments · Categories: Musings · Tags:

May the United States of America never see reality-show government again.

This week got off to a slow start because I woke up later than usual on a cloudy Monday, and then I went to get groceries mid-morning, while the supermarket was still reasonably well stocked. So I didn’t get in a full day of work on Monday and felt like I was catching up all week.

Looking at it from the perspective of gratitude, though, it was a very good week. Working at home allowed me to get plenty of sleep and be well refreshed on Monday, the supermarket had almost everything on my list, and my home is a warm and comfortable place.

Word-art that says "Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." -A.A. Milne

Nurturing Thursday was started by Becca Givens and seeks to “give this planet a much needed shot of fun, support and positive energy.” Visit her site to find more Nurturing Thursday posts and a list of frequent contributors.