Sunday, December 14, 2008

Nature's Joy

While a spitting rain from heavy clouds taps upon the window, I look out into yet another gray December day. This time though, thinking of times that brought me joy, and answering a call from Wren to share the five greatest of these— I have found in Nature.

Finding Joy in Nature

Harder than it would seem, it is to explain joy.
For in that moment it is experienced, the intensity may be so consuming, words leave me. Once spilled, gathering them again is like trying to recapture a bagful of bouncing balloons—the harder I try, the more they escape me.
But, back through my favorite pictures I traveled—from this cold afternoon in December, to times of sunshine and warmth, color and life.
And found it all there, as I had remembered.
The times that captured my heart and left me …changed.

Day Lily in afternoon sun

Amberwing on Smartweed around pond

The experience of color--
so pure and so rich as that of a Day Lily, set ablaze in the afternoon sun. Bright and bold tones on petals so soft.
Or on wings of glass that cast a warm glow from their tips, through, to flowers below. To be able to say, “I have peeked through an angel’s wing.”

Dunce Caps in lawn each morning

To find perfect, tiny parasols between blades of grass each morning, in a lawn still filled with crystal dewdrops. Their paper-thin heads so tender and fragile, the day’s light soon turns them dark and withered.
From delicacy, they disappeared.

Jumping Spider watching from Milkweed stem

Female Wolf Spider carrying young over driveway

Becoming small, from tall.
And discovering that, in my looking, others are looking back, staring curiously at me. And living lives, just smaller--from under leaves or upon the ground…

Stamens falling from flowering grass

Being witness to a moment that will never happen again.
A leaf’s fall to the earth,
or the melt of a snowflake that lands on warm skin, just once.
For just me.

Hatching Hummingbird in Nest

Newly hatched Wren

Seeing the first breaths of a new life.
So tender, so small, so innocent.
So beautiful.

How could there not, from these, be joy?

All photos enlarge with a click.

Where have you discovered joy?

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Anonymous said...

Love this ode to joy of yours. Although I don't say it enough, your writing is a marvel, and I love the way you allow us to see through your eyes. Both to see what you see, and to look back into you.

giggles said...

Oh my...What a beautiful post...both pictures and prose.... I visited your journal of the hummingbirds hatching yesterday, too.... how lucky (but for you, I think it is not luck!) to be a witness to such an amazing story.... Thank you for sharing .... I expect yours will be the only glimpses my family and I ever see of hummingbirds hatching! (Also, followed your link to Julie Sickafoose, who took me to Kevin Loughlin's site, whom I have met when he went with my kid's birding class to Cape May this last September...he was great in helping us all ID migrating raptors! His Wildside Tours look fabulous, too... I'm saving my pennies for one of those trips of a lifetime! I wanted to share my wonder at what a small world even the blogging world is!)

bobbie said...

You put it so well. Moments can just render you speechless and take your breath. These are indeed memorable moments.

NCmountainwoman said...

Absolutely wonderful poetry and photographs of some of the joys of nature. You continue to amaze me with the way you seem to put my own thoughts into words. And the thoughts of many others as well. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful response to the meme, and marvelous post in its own right. Very moving and so well expressed.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Joy is one of my favorite words. People don't use that word much any more. You have shown many of my Joyful subjects. A joyous way of looking at life.

T.R. said...

So beautiful! I am finding it so hard to get into the holiday season. Something feels very forced about it this year. And yet my seasonal joy is still with me and when I see a post like this - I realize that magic joy normally associated with this season has been going on all year out in nature.

This post also reminds me that we sometimes focus so intently on your extraordinary writing and the joy of being carried along by the sheer magnitude of your poetry- that we tend to forget that your photography is equally stunning and beyond words. Basically, in the summing up - you are a Goddess!

KGMom said...

In poetry. . .
In music. . .
In a baby's tiny hand. . .
In a mother's love. . .
In this post. . .

Deborah Godin said...

Stunning photos of the small treasures that often go unnoticed, and your words add another whole layer of beauty.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Nina, this is my first time to your blog. I got here from Wren's blog. I loved it!!! There are so many things in nature to love. That makes it hard to choose only five I'm sure!!!!

Check mine out when you have a chance. Thanks for yours!!!!

spacedlaw said...

Great pictures. Love the bugs.

matthew houskeeper said...

This blog is very good.

cestoady said...

Technical note: As reported in the journal Science (12 Dec.'08), a walk in the woods "..enabled people to perform better on a standard working memory task ..., in comparison to the stimuli of a stroll through a downtown landscape."

Seeing nature, as shown in this wonderful post ,can not only help bring joy but also can make one smarter -- and who does not want to be happy and smarter ?

dguzman said...

In this post.

You're amazing, Nina!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Joy can be fleeting or, as you have so eloquently shown, we can remember joy. Beautiful post.
Happy Christmas.
May you have a joy filled 2009.