Have You taken the Time to Observe Nature?

Have you ever taken time to observe nature? Or truly digested the unspoken wisdom it has to offer us? Fall's appearance is somewhat graceful as it gives its grand finale before it bids adieu. Not paying attention, we didn't notice the slight shift of colors in the oaks and maples; nor did we see the aromatic pines pregnant with their geometrical cones. In its sporadic and beautiful display of life and death, Mother Nature is a catalyst of human life.

As the days grow longer and the nights become colder, we suddenly find ourselves reflecting upon our lives. Spring's green leaves no longer adorn and shade the earth below. Orange and black monarchs no longer flutter in the distance. And right before our eyes, wind-blown foliage gathers across our now, wilting lawns. Almost bittersweet sorrow, we catch a glimpse of deer and their young sprinting through a sleepy forest. In our gardens, yellow and orange mums cleverly hide squirrels as they scamper for fallen acorns, pecans and hazelnuts. Black birds flock together as they prepare for their long winter journey to the Southern warmth.

Watching nature's kaleidoscope of transformations - life, suddenly becomes clear. The endless cycle of metamorphosis is a mirror image of our own selves. Nature's Divine plan was so well thought out that we, as human beings, could find resolve in its simple constitution. Spring is an explosion of new life! Its infantile beginning brings songbirds, buzzing bees, chirping crickets, newborn babies, newborn wildlife, and a wide-awake view of nature's inherent offspring.

Slowly, the lazy days of summer creep into our lives. Towering trees now sway from the weight of their greening foliage. Lawns are vibrant green and bustling with tiny ants, arachnids and honeybees. Ocean breezes beacon us with its tantalizing sandy and salty aroma. Water is tepid and feels so soothing as we splash and swim in hot, summer sun. Days are long and filled with light and energetic rejuvenation. Sitting quietly on a park bench, we watch kids at play, birds frolicking in birdbaths, and flowers abloom everywhere. Sunsets melt into night like fire-filled globe of molten lava.

Somehow, we missed the end of summer as nature's methodical and oh-so-slight transition into autumn became more and more evident. Like a thief in the night, our warm breezes and green leaves have vanished. Small woodland animals act more like vultures as they frantically gather nuts, leaves and other materials for their winter haul. Suddenly, life becomes full circle. Did you see it?

You see -- nature is a perfected reflection of you and me. Our spring is the beginning of our life - our virtual existence. And as we grow and mature, our summer becomes translucent. No longer green behind the ears - we've experienced, we've thrived. We've ripened and become the success of our own achievements. But then comes our autumn. Like a butterfly's cocoon, we have evolved. Slowly, gently, quietly - the sands of time begin to flow more freely. Before we realize it, we've become older, and now wiser. Slower now, we sit and reflect upon our lives. We don't ask about the "what ifs," the "whys" - we've merely become the fruit of our labor. Time is no longer a question of, "how much," but of essence. Our little grandchildren now flock to our sides to help us rise from our chairs. Our grown children drive us to our destinations, and suddenly - life has come full circle. Young toddlers trace the outlines of our wrinkles with their tiny fingers. They don?t see the graying hairs and slowing pace. They think "old" people are wise, gentle and sweet. Did you see it? Not paying attention, we didn't see the slight shift of age. We didn't notice the graceful, grand finale before we make our final passage. Take some time today and observe nature. It may just give you the answer to life you've been seeking.

And if it doesn't answer your question, then perhaps it'll make you appreciate life just a little bit more than before.