Autumn is in full swing here in State College, Pennsylvania. I took the above photo the other day. It was one of those picture-perfect fall days. It made me think of an excerpt from a poem called “When I Stand Among Trees” by Mary Oliver. It was a poem I came across in my Senior AP Literature class and it has stuck with me ever since. The excerpt reads,
“Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, ‘It’s simple’, they say,
‘And you, too have come
into this world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.’”
In a time in the world when the word “easy” seems far from the average experience, I do believe that we can find moments of simplicity. This is a practice that is often hard to do, and even harder when in the midst of stress, overwhelm, or busyness. But, in moments like these- in the moment in which that picture was taken, I was reminded of the simplicity of perhaps why we are here. It is to connect with others. To connect with life. And while these are not simple times that we are living in, the simple moments are still there. We just have to look deeper to find them. Maybe it is even more important now than ever. It is all around us, all the time. It has always been there. So, in moments when you catch yourself overwhelmed, try to look for simplicity. It not only washes some of the stress away, but it brings you in touch with your own purpose. It quiets the mind enough so that even for just a moment, we can be reminded to connect with life.
Connect with nature. Maybe it’s the mountains or the ocean or the trees. Whatever it is that you encounter, remember that life is still going on in it’s own unique way. Connect with people. Connect with yourself. There are so many simple, beautiful moments. And the further away we get from them, the more stressed, overwhelmed, and anxious we feel. And once we connect, we are reminded of the beauty that encompasses us.
And so, go out and find the simple, beautiful things around you today. And remember, “….You too, have come into this life, to go easy…..”- Mary Oliver.