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While walking I am stopped by beauty in the most simple things. I had to take a picture of this white fence with the green leaves falling out and over it. I stood at least one full minute admiring how pretty it was.

I see and hear things in nature that most don’t. My husband likes to tease me that it’s the Indian in me. Well, I don’t know about that since the only Indian I know of in my blood line is Cherokee from my great-great grandmother.

My children are like me. They study all of nature with the biggest curiousity. We will take turns surprising each other by finding a pretty flower or animal.

I miss seeing squirrels every day. I have seen only one squirrel since moving to France. It was Sweet Bear the brought it to my attention. I was lost in my mind thinking of grown up problems when she pointed to a tree and told me there was a petit chien (little dog) in it. We stood together for at least five minutes watching this strange red squirrel with pointy ears climb up and around a tree.

I have been known to get lost while watching trees sway in the wind or a bird flying gracefully in the sky during a red light. I suddenly would find myself sitting back in my car after a loud toot from the car behind me had brought me back to the daily routine of life.

I believe that we tend to forget that we are a part of nature and that we, ourselves, are animals. We build huge glass and metal buildings. We eat meat that is pre-packaged so that in our heads we are eating pork and not a pig. We are afraid of germs and wrap ourselves up in our cozy human made world.

What about the real world full of animals and nature? Don’t we need to be a part of it in order to live healthy lives and to understand ourselves? I think so.

Man knows himself only to the extent that he knows the world; he becomes aware of himself only within the world, and aware of the world only within himself. Every object, well contemplated, opens up a new organ within us. –Goethe

Do you look to nature to know yourself? Do you stop to smell the roses? Are you able to see the flower in front of you. Do you find strength from a simple flower? Do you really see the world around you?

The question is not what you look at—but how you look and whether you see. – Thoreau

Do you see the beauty in little things? Is it important that you do?

Science seems to think so. We need to be a part of nature in order to be physically, mentally and spiritually happy and healthy. In order for the world to continue to support life, humans must stop separating themselves from the animal world.
Think about it!


The Nature Institute

How to use nature to reduce stress


Copyright © 2006 FROM MY FRENCH WINDOW. No photographs or content may be reproduced in any manner without express written permission given in advance.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dana June 8, 2006, 1:43 pm

    What a beautiful post!

  • amy June 8, 2006, 10:33 pm

    What a great gift- I always try and make myself slow down and appreciate the beauty around me but I always move too fast. Lovely photo as well.

  • thomas June 9, 2006, 1:36 am

    If you want to see squirrels, go to the forest of Landes (40) in the South West. they are all over in the pine trees. But don’t annoy them, or they will start making a really funny squeek, and for the grumpiest ones (I should say french), they may try to throw pine cones on your head… That’s what happened to my dad one day he shook a thin trree where a squirrel was eating… It was so scared that he dropped his meal, and started squeeking in anger, about 10 minutes later while eating our lunch, a pine cone fell from the tree really close from my dad with the squirrel still squeeking in anger (was he angry cause he missed my dad – not sure)

  • Wendy June 9, 2006, 6:07 am

    Yes I do that too Pumpkin – stop and admire the beauty in simple things.

    That’s a beautiful photo – I Love it.

    Have a super duper day and weekend.

    Moi? I am off to the grindstone again and longing for Saturday.

  • Pumpkin June 9, 2006, 10:03 am

    Thomas, Thank you for sharing your story with me. I shared it with my family over breakfast and my husband smiled and Angel laughed…she said French squirrels are smart and sneaky.

    Wendy, Saturday is almost here…I hope you get lots of rest and have a great weekend! :)

  • carra June 9, 2006, 12:51 pm

    I do that all the time. I get carried away while watching the nature. Whether it’s birds, flowers or trees… It’s just the way we are and we know we are part of nature. I could live in a palce like “The Village” where no money is required, where everything you need you make yourself… I live in a similar place and (rural France middle of nowhere type of thing) and I love it I don’t even own a mobile phone!

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