I read a quote in “Mother Earth News” tonight, and not an hour later it proved true—applicability is a trait this magazine does well in my life.
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks” -John Muir
Tonight I was given the dreaded donkey-feeding task. Whenever my parents dole out this particular responsibility, eyes will inevitably roll. So I rolled mine, a necessary start to the job, put a coat on, and walked to the barn. Our jack, Merlin, has the personality of an over-sized, persnickety dog, and of course, he just wouldn’t be pushed out of the barn without a treat first, the treat being an animal cracker—a cruel, but funny donkey dessert.
When I was finished, the night felt so refreshing that my legs carried me not back to the house, but away. Two of our dogs followed, always eager for an adventure, and I felt my tail was wagging with theirs. Enthusiasm is contagious—even when the source runs on four legs. We ended up walking through the garden, which appears deceivingly barren in winter, and I couldn’t help but imagine the life under my feet. Although it was completely quiet outside, I could sense its energy-not rushed, as life often feels, but slow and steady as a pulse. And it is a pulse isn’t it? Without the dedicated earthworms, the microbes, the rhizomes and the roots, dirt would be dead. But instead it’s a flurry of never ending activity that almost beats like a pulse, preparing the soil for the energy-sucking plants it’ll have to sustain come spring. The constancy of it calmed me and I felt, not energized, but peaceful, when I crossed the threshold of the door, back into the hustle and bustle of my family’s life inside.
John Muir was right. Nature always provides more than we ask of it, and tonight I felt it was the exact prescription for inner quiet.