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  • Fran Braga Meininger

Early Morning Lessons from Nature


I’ve been awake for hours, lying in the dark listening to the syncopated rhythm of the rain, reflecting on what has come and gone over the past year.

Waiting for my first cup of coffee to brew, I linger in the open door and let the cool, damp air touch my face. I inhale the freshness of the breeze through the trees and relax into the presence of something bigger, more powerful and undeniable.

The sky above has turned the most beautiful color of slat blue as the first light rises up from the horizon. The trees are only silhouettes, outlines of dark shapes, hovering above me, standing bold and strong against the wind to remain in their rightful place through whatever comes their way. They don’t struggle or anticipate, they merely stretch up to the warm sun, push their roots deep in search of nourishment and sway in the wind. I take note.

I sip my coffee, strong and creamy, comforting in its familiarity. When things change and life shifts like sand beneath my feet, the simplest of pleasures become old friends who seem always to be there for me, like the sound of the tree frog interrupting the early morning silence and hawk announcing the dawn. I’m in need of the constant and dependable and I always seem to find it in the wildness of this place.

I take lessons from the natural world, especially when I feel overwhelmed and confused by the modern one that sometimes swirls around me, seemingly out of control, so fast paced, and unpredictable. The wildness is always there somehow coexisting, cooperating and conforming to its own way of being. It goes on. Eternal and enduring, through weather, fire and the invasion of humankind, it finds a way to survive, maintain its existence and perpetuate its lineage. A tree stands tall against the elements until one day it can no longer. When it falls, settling into the vibrantly alive earth that gave it life, it begins to dissolve back into it, enriching what is already there as the cycle continues and a new tree takes root in its richness.

Life doesn’t move along in a straight line or a direct path, like nature, it flows and ebbs, is interrupted and forced to change course and adapt to the unforeseen. Ultimately, we can only accept what is presented. We have such little influence and control, and pretending to possess more than we truly have just serves to frustrate us and delay our evolution.

So for now, I’m watching, observing and carefully studying how the world around me cycles through change and applying what I learn to the moments in my life, that when strung together become my life.


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