A Lesson from Nature

With summer another month or two away, this day in mid-April following a very cold New England winter, I looked out on the backyard and immediately wanted to have the brown grass and leafless trees turn green. I wanted winter behind and gone for the year, and I yearned for the nurturing feeling of late spring’s awakening aliveness and warmth to be fully manifested. A want I was powerless to do anything about. 

As one who loves to find the lessons in my experiences, I first recalled my habit of wanting desires to show up right now — over which I have little or no control. But I was willing to discover whatever was beneath my obvious frustration in this moment. What followed was the thought that the slow budding of April was possibly a teaching/learning moment.


Damn. Truth is I don’t want to wait and embrace some new teaching moment; but I have found that these do serve me in the long run even if I resist them in the moment. OK then, what was it I now needed to learn, or “awaken to” is probably a more accurate way to put it, that would serve me going forward?


Ah ha . . . Patience. Yes, clearly ‘Patience’ was and is one of my growth areas for sure. When I am impatient, what happens simultaneously is my resistance to allow the moment, the situation, to be as it is. My usual next step then — the hard part — is to breathe in deeply and feel the ‘pain’ of not having things as I want them to be. And then remind myself of what Byron Katie shares with her followers: “When you argue with Reality you are only wrong 100% of the time!”


“All well and good” my mind retorts. “But what can I find pleasurable about brown grass and leafless trees?” Seeing clearly that I still wanted it my way, not Nature’s way, I figured I needed to look a bit harder at springtime’s manner of unfolding and find gratitude where I had not seen it before.


Hmmm . . . come to think of it, I did see some daffodils peep through the earth the other day, reminding me that green is on its way. And the temperature is getting to where I no longer needed to put on long underwear; and I was able to take a bike ride the other day. Alrighty then, I was beginning to look through the eyes of being grateful for what is, rather than judging reality in its present form as not ‘It’, or not good enough for my egoic mind to be happy.


Now that I found springtime to be about Patience, or finding gratitude in “Patient Awakening”, I thought about what Summer, Fall, and Winter could teach me. I immediately came up with this answer: Summer is about Aliveness and Play; Autumn is about Fullness and Gratitude, and Winter is about Slowing down and Restfulness.


But hey, I can’t deal with that now because I still have a ways to go with Patience, and not about trying to change reality as I want it to be.


“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with just a sense of existence.”   – Henry David Thoreau​


About Jim

Jim’s innovative and influential style of coaching and facilitation stems from over 15 years of Management experience in Human Resource and Organization Development. He has written two books, and has coached others in the area of Personal Development for the past 20 years.