Taking a few meaningfully quiet minutes outside didn’t start to mean something to me until after college when I began working in “the real world”. there was a lot I didn’t understand about the way the world is + what it does to people. I came in touch with a lot of different sorts of people…medical patients in the rural south + the doctors + staff who served them, as well as their caregivers + loved ones. I learned how easily we can slip into conflict with other humans, + then…I learned how to make lemonade. I learned to smile often + soon it was reciprocated. I learned that smiling can actually open up clouds + shine warms rays of happy sunshine down on you, if you just take off your shades + look up for a minute.

now, I have always been a nature lover. some things you inherit, others you learn. my parents are responsible for handing down a bit of both. my love for sea salt in my hair + sun on my cheeks, i got from my mom– if ever there was a beach babe, it’s her. my dad has always loved to take pictures of trees + waterfalls + all of the nature that surrounded us on family vacations in the blue ridge mountains of north carolina. those things I learned by watching + living. the way I feel when a thunderstorm starts rolling in– I inherited that too + I pray to pass it on.

my love of nature has only grown with each of my trips around the sun + always seemingly for a new reason. this past year- it was my first trip over the chattahoochee river one early summer morning, as the fog was still rising off the water’s surface. last year, it was the birth of my second daughter. other years revealed the incredible feeling of falling in love, traveling to edges of this world I never dreamed I would see, the miracle of learning I was expecting + then having my first child, + becoming a mother. never mind the tiny things that go often unnoticed most days of the week: the way the sun rises every morning, each tiny dew drop on every surface of the yard, a spider web, every small creature that crawls, swims or breathes. the way trees leaves change to gorgeous shades of burning fire before they fall + seemingly die, only to sprout new buds again, mere months later.

the thing about nature is that it is all one big continuous love letter from God + I feel so called to share it with every man, woman or child who will listen. far be it from me to suggest the best or most popular things to anyone reading now, rather I am simply sharing what I know, what I love + what leads me to remember that I too am loved.

everyday is special, so it’s high time we all start acting like it + treating others in a way that they too can treasure each + every day here + now in this life. oftentimes, all it takes is a step outside, maybe onto a porch where we can take a breath + reset.

i leave you with a beautiful rendition of a lovely inspiring song: “what the world needs now” by andra day: watch it here.

from our porch to yours

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