From atop a hill my vantage point of the lake is quite impressive. As is the silence. I don’t know which drew me here the most, but now I’m thinking it is more than the landscape and lack of noise.
As I look down at the lake, still covered in ice, I know that nature has order, which provides a great repose. I know the ice will melt, that the migrant ducks will arrive, and then the songbirds all along the greening shoreline.
There will be the sequence, structure and succession of spring, the same as last year but somehow all new, all in nature’s amazing excess.
Hounded and chased by bad news, I took to the outdoors. I heard some say we often turn to sports in times of national crisis, sports as a diversion and a unifier. This time, sports is bidding for a spot near the epicenter of our health worries.
But there is nature, the outdoors, offering even more than a diversion. It’s a healthy haven for the soul and body, where we can clear our heads and breath fresh air. I can touch with no fear the maple tree, where the sweet sap has been urged on by the afternoon sun in as much as I have been drawn here.
Henry David Thoreau wrote in the 19th century, “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.” Frank Lloyd Wright observed a century later, “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”
We all can’t walk the woods and shorelines. But we can all allow nature to take over our thoughts for a time, move the troubling horizon for a moment or more, perhaps simply by watching a bird feeder, a sunrise, or reading through spring’s revealing. Slowly yet surely. Nature is consistent in its tranquility. Worries becalmed.
Greschner is Rice Lake Chronotype sports editor.