In a time of want, nature teaches us abundance thinking

If you read this blog series regularly, that is SO GREAT. But more importantly you will know that one of the saviours of my lockdown experience has been the tiny patch of woodland a few minutes’ walk from my house (read more woodland gushings here).

But on this bright, breezy spring day, the woods have a specific lesson to teach me. The blue skies which have been with us almost every day of April and May seem somehow excessive, and undeserved. I sit in the low branches of a tree to write, and as I look around, the entire woodland is moving – glimmering, even. The sun dapples everything with light and shadow, from the dirt floor to the highest leaf-tops. Nearby, a boisterous robin hops about, mining the ground for worms. Further away in the midst of the trees, I see a thrush land on a branch, rest for a moment, perfectly framed by moving leaves, before taking off again on an errand unknown. The bird song is practically deafening.

We’re so aware of what we don’t have

Right now, the human world seems more than ever to be marked by lack and want – lack of PPE equipment for frontline workers; lack of food in the shops; the desire to be together once again with our loved ones.

And yet, even in a time when we have systematically stripped the tree of life so utterly bare – eviscerating forests, poisoning rivers, warming oceans – the woodland whispers to me that the truest characteristic of nature is abundance. Even in this tiny tract of woodland, pummeled by the feet of joggers, herbal layer trampled and nibbled by dogs, fringes soaked in roadside pollution, nature can’t help but reach towards life. Everywhere I look, from the woodland floor to the treetops, nature stretches out her hand, and seems to offer more.

The glass-hall-full people have it right

Psychologists, spiritual thinkers and business strategists alike teach people to cultivate an ‘abundance mindset’. This essentially means that those who are grateful are not only happier people, but are able to see further opportunities and examples of their good fortune than those who struggle to count their blessings. A very simple daily gratitude practice can actually re-wire the brain to see life more positively. This is all beautifully summed up in the eternal words of Oprah:

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Our Lady of the Television, Oprah

If we knew how to share, there would be enough for everyone. If we placed lives before profit as a society, there would be enough for everyone. And, even in a moment which may be the earth’s eleventh hour, nature is reminding us that there is always more, if we know how to look and to share.

I don’t know the things which you feel you lack or want. They may be completely valid. But today, I invite you to open your heart to the idea that the world is one of great abundance, even if that isn’t your reality just yet, and you deserve to share in that plenty. Dear one, may it be.

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