At heart, I believe we are creatures of nature. We thrive when we have a connection to nature. These days, however, with the many demands on our time, the fact that more and more of us live in cities, and, of course, our close attachment to our electronics, it is all too easy to become cut off from nature and the natural world around us, indeed, the natural selves inside us.

I also believe it is vitally important that we maintain some connection to nature. Such a connection nourishes our hearts, our minds, our inner spirits, as well as our bodies.

Going for walks, even in city parks; driving out into the countryside; looking for birds and wildlife even in the city, all these can nourish us. Even our connection to our electronics can provide a connection to nature, if we’re open to the possibilities.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to one of my online friends, one who helps me stay close to nature. Through her photography, videography, and writing, I am able to experience things that I wouldn’t have access to in my day-to-day life. Her name is Melodye Shore, and I value her friendship, and her connection with the natural world, very much.

Melodye’s photography is stunningly beautiful. She makes you feel as if you are right there in the midst of the beauty she shares. I want to underline, though, that she captures these moments at a respectful distance, through a zoom lens. She is keenly aware of the importance that she not disrupt the creatures’ routines nor disturb their habitats. All who go out in the natural world would do well to follow her careful, respectful example.

Something I find particularly healing — both soothing and energizing at the same time — is being near water. The sound of water lapping or crashing against a dock or a beach, the rush of a mountain stream, the roar of a waterfall, all stir me and touch something deep within me.

Perhaps we feel a close affinity to water and the rhythm because we spent our first formative months before birth engulfed in water and surrounded by the natural, regular sound of our mother’s heartbeat? Whatever the reason, I love to experience water sounds and sights.

Such experiences are not easy to come by where I live, in a land-locked province where for many months of the year (as now) natural water sources are frozen. Melodye’s videos bring the ocean to me, as in this video of her last walk on the beach in 2016.

She also gives people like me the opportunity to experience things we would never experience where we live, such as a Sea Lion release after they had been rehabilitated in a special facility. Imagine what it would be like to actually have been there! Melodye’s video lets you see it all as if you had been.

I have had some wonderful friends in real life who got me interested in birding, and I have visited some places on the prairies, like Oak Hammock Marsh in Manitoba, where there are fascinating opportunities to see birds — water birds, shore birds, and other bird, animal, and insect species.

Melodye extends that fascination with birds and allows me (and now you) to experience such wonders as a black turnstone busily working away on the shore as the tide comes in, or the amazing development of hummingbirds from egg to flight in this Facebook photo album. Remember, these photos were taken with a zoom lens — everything is observed and photographed from a respectful distance.

Her writing, as experienced on her blog, is equally evocative. Her lyrical way with words, enhanced by her photographs, is inspiring and health-giving, nourishing for heart, mind and spirit.

Here are just three examples (although once I start delving into her blog, I could share links for the rest of the day!):

On Flipping the Calendar Page to September.

New Year’s Eve with Mary Oliver.

Finding and Sharing Light.

I hope you have enjoyed “meeting” Melodye today, and that you, too, feel nourished by the glimpses of the natural world she shares with us.

N stands for the nourishment we can find in nature; for the naturalists (formal and informal) who care for, protect, and share that nature with us; and for our need for such nourishment as well as our need to nurture the natural world around us.

 

Thanks to Melodye for the many ways she shares such nourishment with her friends and followers.

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