nature: its ability to calm and heal our souls

nature - its ability to calm and heal our souls - robin on grass (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Few sights are as cheering to winter-weary hearts than spotting a red-breasted robin in the garden. They are welcome visitors who cannot help but make us smile because of their lively hue and perky hopping.

In the English countryside, robins feature heavily in our sightings for large parts of the year. They’ve also inspired today’s poem, which was prompted by thoughts of my daughter-in-law.

She’s a keen gardener who often finds solace (and a necessary distraction from her busy business life) when she’s outside, getting her hands dirty with tasks. Being in touch with living plants helps shift vestiges of SAD-induced sadness in her heart.

The robin

Water-logged and rimed with frost,
sodden leaves get trodden underfoot
as she makes her way across
the uneven garden path.

Her heart sinks as low as her boots
as she contemplates the work
before her—clearing cluttered ground,
preparing for winter to fully come.

As her spade sinks in, she glances
up and sees a robin hopping
around, close by but no longer
shy or uncertain, more a bold thing.

She smiles at her avian
companion, who had graced
the garden in summertime
with brief glimpses now and then.

No longer intent on nest building
or family, she hops contentedly,
pausing to check on her human
friend who she converses with.

Maybe this is no coincidence
in these colder months, with their
depressing, darkening days and drizzle,
that she would appear by chance.

Perhaps there’s hidden symbolism
here, as her furry friend is known
to signal spiritual rebirth,
the new, divine, and the next.

Work stops for now as her mind
follows that thought, making space
for a sign from God to lift her
heart in these chilly wintry months.
© joylenton

We each try to find a way to help alleviate the darkness that can inhabit our hearts. Sometimes, just reading about nature helps. I’m dipping into ‘The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us – A Diary’ by Emma Mitchell and finding it comforting.

I know I feel so much better when I can get outside, even briefly, and surround myself with nature’s natural sedative, calming effects, instead of sitting indoors brooding about my problems.

nature - countryside - grass - sky - trees - natural sedative effects quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Also, looking out the window or watching nature programmes is enough to temporarily plug the “craving to be outside” gap which M.E and chronic illness tend to leave in their wake.

While many of us in the northern hemisphere struggle with wintry ills and chills, may we aim to encourage ourselves with remembrance of God’s faithfulness to us in the past. Let’s keep signs of spring and flames of hope alive in our hearts. Because that’s how we survive and thrive during hard times.

May listening to this robin singing help make you smile, and give you hope that winter’s grip on your environment  or mind will ease soon. 🙂

How have you experienced nature’s calming or healing effects? Do share in the comments below... ❤

nature - robin on a fence - Let’s keep signs of spring quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

12 thoughts on “nature: its ability to calm and heal our souls

      • How lovely to have birds directly outside your window! I love to hear them singing when they perch on rooftops near us. Let’s keep our hearts hopeful by the thought of spring’s imminence as we approach Lent. Blessings and love! 💜🌷

  1. You are so right! We’ve been visited by a red-breasted blue-bird who keeps trying to get inside our house. It flies up against our windows, hoping one will open. Maybe it’s looking for a protected space to build a nest. Or maybe it’s greeting the bird it sees as it’s reflection. Or maybe it’s just coming to give us the joy of seeing it up close, to admire how beautiful it is. Whichever, it’s a blessing!

    • Oh how vividly you describe the red-breasted blue-bird and its amusing antics, Deborah! I can just picture it. It is a joy to watch bird life up close. I hope and pray it will continue to lift your heart and give you something to smile about. A blessing indeed, my friend! xo 😊❤️

  2. Dear Joy,
    I love it that we both have our red-breasted robin that we watch for–on opposite sides of the world! And even though it’s still several weeks before we usually spot our first spring arrivals, it is a treat to look forward to! I’m reading a nature/healing book now too, gifted by my friend, about a woman who found healing in her after-cancer journey as she planted a garden. She now opens her garden for others to come and rest and find healing also.

    Your words resonated with me, then, especially this:

    “a sign from God to lift her
    heart in these chilly wintry months.”

    He does gift us such glimpses to lift our eyes and hearts. Blessings, love, and hugs to you Dear Friend! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh that’s lovely! I’m glad you have a red-breasted robin to look out for. The book you mentioned sounds interesting. Being among living plants is healing and calming for our souls. I love that she opened up her garden to give others the same opportunity of receiving rest and healing. I’m trying to find signs of spring in these soul battering, storm filled days. We seem to lurch from one to another. It makes me crave the fresh stillness of snow, though it hasn’t been anywhere near cold enough for it yet. May God continue to open our eyes to the signs of life and hope only He can provide. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

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