Two things happened yesterday to shift our mood out of worry and overwhelm.

First, we stopped for a moment to hone in to what might be the antidote to the malaise we were feeling. The answer came quickly: NATURE. Nearby nature, with no hassle or danger involved in getting there.

So in the morning before the heat and general city busyness ramped up, we set aside our mighty to-do list and rode our bike to the Conservatory Gardens in Central Park, past the Harlem Meer, a lake surrounded by willow trees and rushes, past people fishing and the flotilla of turtles basking in the sun. Deep in the garden, we found a secluded bench under a shady tree and sat, breathing deeply, listening to birds and inhaling the thick scent of blossoms and green, settling.

All we had to do was sit, and the rest was done for us: a fading of tension, worry, fatigue. It didn’t take long. As we rode back we realized that just knowing the garden was there, only 10 minutes away, was deeply heartening.

Sally Schneider

Late in the afternoon, a text sailed in with a poem by Mary Oliver that had the same effect, echoing our garden experience.

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers

flow in the right direction, will the earth turn

as it was taught, and if not how shall

I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,

can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows

can do it and I am, well,

hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,

am I going to get rheumatism,

lockjaw, dementia?

Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.

And gave it up. And took my old body

and went out into the morning,

and sang.

Finally, I saw that worrying had come to nothing.|

And gave it up

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