Nature Inspires Poetry

Nature inspires me in many ways. Sometimes, the inspiration manifests into poetry. When I am outside alone, usually in the woods, and I allow my thoughts to calm, I begin to sense the beauty of nature. Then, I become inspired by the natural world. I have discovered there is a pattern to my thought process as I walk through the woods. First, when I step into the trees, my mind is filled with all sorts of issues. Work. Relationships. Tasks. Projects. Life. Then, as a walk on, I conduct my own therapy session with me as both client and counselor.

Initially, problems flood my mind and I begin to sort through them. I am the client. Eventually, I begin to reason and solve some of the issues and put them into proper perspective. The room they take up in my brain becomes smaller, like gentle raindrops at the end of a storm. I remind myself many of the things that plague me aren’t problems at all. I can look at them another way, like tools that help me grow. Then, I gently remind myself not to judge or place blame. Not even toward myself. I am the counselor.

Eventually, the barrage of life’s situations fall away and are replaced with a calm curiosity about my surroundings. It is a transformation I only find in nature. It’s a process I love. I find myself being fully present.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how we humans can be so preoccupied with things that are not right in front of us? It is not the practice of nature. All of creation is fully present because there is no other place it can be. The deer in the woods are right where they are, and I imagine they are not thinking about where they have been or where they might go. It is simply one hoof in front of the other as the forest offers browse for the current meal. The trees are present as well. They do not recall yesterday’s gale wind or tomorrow’s drought. They are right where they are at the exact moment we call “now.”

It is one of the things I love about being outdoors. It brings me into the here and now; I am able to leave behind what I have literally left behind. The past. I am able to avoid, for a time, what I cannot solve. The future. I can be fully present and focus on what is right in front of me. A patch of moss. Mushroom clusters. Songbirds flitting from tree to tree. Sunlight cast on the forest floor. 

It is when I reach this “here and now” stage I am able to fully soak in my surroundings and enjoy life as it is. I live to the fullest when I am alone in nature. Inspiration seeps into my mind, my very being, and words form in my head that, eventually, are poured out onto paper.

Nature. Therapy. Presence. Calm. Inspiration. Poetry. 

Woods in Autumn

As the oaks get undressed

With the sun hanging low,

And the groundhog retreats

In a cozy burrow,

∗ ∗ ∗

At the end of the day

High on hill in the trees,

Is the squawk of a jay

And the brush of a breeze.

∗ ∗ ∗

Tap-tap-tap downy bird

As you perch high above,

Do I hear nuthatch word?

And the coo of a dove?

∗ ∗ ∗

Subtle crunch underneath

As my feet find a way,

On a leaf covered ground

In the autumn decay.

∗ ∗ ∗

Nature sings me her song

As I walk in the woods,

And her voice is like balm

For my despondent mood.