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Planting Mindfulness

Seeds of The Prairie

By Thomas DurbinPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

The activity that takes me away from harsh realities is restoring a small piece of nature on my property back home. It doubles as a part of the solution to the core of the harsh realities out there including the effects of materialism and overpopulation on nature and society that continue to spread across the countryside. The problems people impose on the environment and each other weigh heavily on my mind. Serenity and tranquility are necessary for peace of mind and coping with life in these tumultuous times. Planting native plants on my little patch of ground is a rewarding and satisfying activity. It is a fundamental way to make a positive difference today and for future generations.

Watching wildlife return and flourish among the plants as they grow and reclaim the land is also exciting and rewarding. It's a great way to nurture my connection to nature. It grounds me. It helps calm my thoughts for a while. I need to know I am doing something and setting an example worthy of emulation. Through this restoration effort, I can accomplish that.

It is wonderful to know that, though my time left may be relatively short on Earth, my grandchildren may be able to enjoy a connection to nature and a connection to me via these positive efforts and the legacy I will leave behind embodied in the plants and animals that may flourish on this small plot of ground in Newtown, Illinois. I imagine how the area looked when our first European ancestors arrived here during the 1830s. I imagine how the area looked to our Native American ancestors prior to the arrival of our European ancestors. I hope this place once again provides a glimpse of what nature made and how it looked prior to alteration of the land by humans in various ways during the past 180 years.

Being raised here in a farming community fostered a deep connection to the land and a deep respect for what it can provide. Gardening is something for which my paternal grandfather, Grandpa Ed, was well known among family and friends. He was one of the major positive influences on me and a significant reason I find solace in nature and tending the plants when I can. Time spent with him was priceless. The example he set via his dedication and care of the land and the seeds he sowed both literally and ideologically cannot be overemphasized. A deep and respectful connection to Nature is something that is fundamental. It's a necessary part of our being and our philosophies. Those lacking a direct connection to our natural history and the current environmental situation are truly missing a great pleasure as well as important lessons about life. Governments and Industries and urban centers of the world and those who dwell in those circles seem to have missed these vital lessons and lack this necessary connection to and respect for Earth, nature, and the environment. Change is necessary for the survival of all.

Respect for the environment upon which all life depends is paramount for survival, physically and emotionally. Nurturing the natural landscape and the life it supports allows me to take part in restoration of a piece of Earth and derive a sense of accomplishment fueled by love of our environment and those dependent upon it. I hope that future generations will also reap the benefits.

Regardless of how much more time you believe you have left,

Plant the tree.

Sow the native plant seeds.

Feed the butterflies and the bees.

Provide shelter for the field mice and the nesting birds and all the other creatures of your local ecosystem.

Find ways to live in harmony with Nature and create a mutually beneficial ecosystem.

There is nothing more satisfying than sowing the seeds of restoration and seeing the effort result in a resurgence of life as roots take hold, leaves form, flowers bloom, deer graze, owls hoot, coyotes howl, birds sing, bees buzz, and butterflies flutter by.


About the Creator

Thomas Durbin

Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer-scientist, leader, scouts leader, coach, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.

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