The “Quiet Teachers” of Nature

Dear Reader:

I read in an article that two hours of being out in nature (a week) does wonders for our bodies, minds, and hearts. I do try to get outside in the garden most days and actually use my deck (to enjoy the garden) more in late fall and winter than the hot summers here in the lowcountry.

Getting twenty minutes of sunshine each day is compatible with being out in nature two hours a week. The study suggests that one doesn’t even have to be physically active outside…just simply make time for self- reflection…especially observations of nature that use all the senses  found in the spectacular diversity of the animal and plant kingdoms.

To date my greatest nature “Quiet” teachers have been a red cardinal named Sammy who taught me patience and then compassion, followed by a smiling dolphin assuring me that my life is playing out just the way it should…all is right with the world. Just keep keeping on and all will fall into place. And both lessons taught have come true!

On cold rainy days (like what we presently are experiencing ) ….having lots of greenery inside can tide us over physically/emotionally until we can return outside again to the benefits of sunshine on our faces.

I have lots of green foliage resting in pots and planters throughout my ‘Happy Room” and dining area. There really is something to be said for the positive effects of greenery inside. It lifts one spirits…no matter the weather conditions.

Because we are freestanding and able to move around we miss the most important lesson in the universe… that we are as tied to the soil as trees, shrubs, and plants. The teachers in the classroom we experienced taught us with words…but our spiritual lessons must come from nature…the “quiet teachers” (God Winks) who lead and guide us along our path.

At least a few times a week now Sammy stops while eating and looks up at my window where I am typing…it only lasts a few seconds but the connection between us has grown stronger with time…Sammy is one of my best quiet “teachers”! (*The screen makes the photo fuzzy-Sammy shakes the suet cage so the food drops and then eats it on the ground…while stopping to pause and look up at me …staring intently!)

So until tomorrow…Let us remember that there are “quiet teachers” in nature who continue to guide us long after we leave the classroom…welcome their companionship and guidance…nature won’t steer us wrong. God Winks workbest in natural settings.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Libby’s sister Linda is going through some hard times now…with her heart…she has been put through the ringer with several uncomfortable procedures…but in the meantime she continues to experience pain and shortness of breath. Please pray for her as the doctors wind down their tests today…that they can provide some concrete answers for her and her loved ones… a clear summation diagnosis and a plan for recovery.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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