May 2017: Thriving Naturally

Aspen in Yellowstone Photo by Hobie Hare

What Do You Need to Naturally Thrive?

by Hobie Hare

Take a moment and imagine a particular tree close to where you live or work that really stands out for you. What, in particular, attracts you to this tree? Are you drawn to its height, its age, its resilience, its beauty? Are you attracted by its tranquility, its power, its ability to put down roots and thrive right where it is?

Picture yourself sitting leisurely beside or beneath the tree that calls to you. The ground is dry and supports you very comfortably, and a warm spring breeze is blowing. Your cell phone’s turned off. Your to-do list is put away. You don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon. Your sense of time is unhurried and has slowed way, way down. Use all of your senses and recall how it looks, smells, feels, and sounds. What else do you sense or intuit from spending time with your tree?

Over time, come back to visit your tree or trees throughout the days and weeks, and during different seasons. Imagine what’s happening beneath or inside the tree—there’s always something going on that may not be immediately visible or noticeable.

Can you create “tree time” for yourself every day, even when you cannot be outside? What do you need to naturally thrive?

There’s a trio of quaking aspens in our yard that Erik and I call the “Hope Grove.” I like to visit nearly every day, in all seasons. Right now they are all budding out profusely, in response to longer day length and the strengthening intensity of the springtime sun.

This time of year, snow-on-the-mountain plants are running wild, encircling these three trees at their base. Grape hyacinths sway underneath neighboring keragana bushes nearly ready to burst forth. In early May, the aspen bark will turn a slightly pale shade of green, helping these trees further photosynthesize, their full spring leaves emerging soon afterwards.

It’s comforting to observe and be encouraged by these trees, two of which Erik and I planted together in May 2011. In February that year, my favorite aunt passed away after a long struggle with cancer. The same month, my now 90-year-old dad had to move into assisted living due to deteriorating health issues and accelerating dementia. Then in March, my two eldest nieces’ father fell to cancer, at age 55. It was a rough winter and early spring, witnessing people we knew and loved pass on, or losing their vitality and independence.

Planting two aspen saplings next to an older one standing in our side yard has been an enduring gift. Perhaps doing so was a primordial response, encouraging the lone aspen and ourselves to remember that we never truly live our lives in isolation. There are times when we can lean in and support others, and times when we can receive support as well.

SuzAnne’s Favorite Home Tree

I love the way that Hobie takes my mind outside even when I am at my computer putting together this magazine. His asking us to call forth a mental image of a tree close to us was an easy exercise for me. Outside my office window is the most wondrous of flowering crab apple trees. Each spring it bursts forth with white blooms that are then invaded by hordes of mason bees. Mason bees don’t sting and they create a cacophony of buzzing. It has become a family tradition to stand together beneath the tree, feel the fall of the white petals, and listen to the symphony of the bees. What a delightful tree that does exactly what Hobies speaks of. Its calming, mesmerizing presence washes our worries away.

Looking up from under my flowering crab apple tree Photo by SuzAnne Miller

 

POSTSCRIPT

With each seasonal change, Hobie Hare finds his way to Dunrovin Ranch to sit on the “porch swing” with SuzAnne to celebrate nature’s annual cycle. Hobie has a way of letting you close your eyes and follow his voice to that special natural space where your soul is replenished – no matter where your feet are. It is a gift that Hobie has to share, this ability to follow sounds, conjure the sights, and ask our minds to take us to nature to receive its many healing benefits, even when our entire body cannot there. It works and it is such a blessing.

Be sure to check our DaysAtDunrovin calendar for Hobie next visit. He also hosts a forum on the DaysAtDunrovin web site where he would love to hear from you!

You can connect personally with Hobie by visiting his web site at YourLifeNature where you will find meditation tapes and nature photographs to help build a nature connection into your daily life.

Enjoy more articles from the Dunrovin Lifestyle Magazine!