The cool morning air felt refreshing as the sun’s rays rose above the horizon line and I trotted down the road on my Saturday ritual run. It is a time I have come to embrace with enthusiasm, no matter the weather, time of year, or mood I may have.
This morning’s run was particularly enlightening because I observed many of the wonders August presents to my area, my mind, and my body, all of which can be considered life lessons.
Though the night sky had been cloudy, the break of dawn brought openings to the cloud masses, revealing an orange, pink, and red sunrise. This type of sunrise always makes me think of the love conveyed by nature to us.
The colorful parade is caused by scattering of light by molecules in the air. The light’s wavelength and particles’ size also play a part. The sun’s low position on the horizon allows its rays to pass through a greater area of the atmosphere. More area equals more scattering of light. Blue and violet light are scattered to reveal more red, orange, and yellow shades.
Observing the sun’s ascent made me realize the intricate weave of nature. So many molecules, chemical reactions, movements, and changes take place every second. Without all these changes, life would be greatly affected. To me, the sunrise is nature’s way of guiding us through another day of necessary changes on the path of life.
About a quarter mile into my run, I saw a doe with her fawn scamper across the road. The fawn’s once prominent white spots are now starting to fade, marking its’ maturity and allowing it to blend in with the landscape better. Along with this maturity comes a heightened awareness of survival and surroundings.
Observing the doe and fawn made me ponder the innocence nature presents to us on a regular basis. This innocence can be a great teacher, especially if we stop for a moment to think about the many gifts nature gives to us. Like the young fawn, we can also learn to become more aware of our surroundings using our senses.
For the fawn, the senses of smell, hearing, and sight allow it to survive. Sometimes humans take these senses for granted and do not realize the important role they play. On the other hand, the fawn does not take these senses for granted. The innocence and respect it possesses offers a great example of nature as a teacher for those willing to learn.
Signs in the Landscape
Running further along my route, I saw drying grass in lawns and fields; brown and wilting leaves on trees and shrubs; and a noticeably lower water level in the neighbors’ pond. All of these observations made me contemplate the stress created by lack of rain in my area.
Though we had a very wet spring with several months of rainy days, August has brought with it a prolonged dry spell. The lack of rain has caused the ground to crack in some areas, creating jagged lines in the dirt. The high temperatures and humidity levels have baked the ground hard like cement.
As I contemplated the situation, I wondered what causes dry spells, or drought, to occur. The answer lies in weather patterns. In the spring, my area experienced many stalled weather fronts carrying precipitation. Now, we are experiencing weather fronts with little or no precipitation.
In the grand scheme of things, nature is in balance, for somewhere in the world, enough rain is falling to sustain crops, trees, grass, and other foliage. However, looking at the smaller picture of my immediate area, nature seems to be out of balance.
As I contemplate the large and small picture, I realize that nature offers us many perspectives from which to view our world. This perspective reminds me that there is always more than one way to look at any given situation. Realizing this allows the mind to grow, offering potential, hope, and understanding.
Running for Reasoning
My morning run confirmed something I learned many years ago: running is an exercise that allows the mind, body, and spirit to be fully engaged. Running in certain conditions and situations allows for enlightenment on many levels.
Running in August can be particularly challenging given the higher air temperatures and humidity levels. However, in this challenge lies opportunity for perspective to help us through changes in nature and life.
I would add that it is important to listen, not only to nature, but also to your body when running in such conditions. Please remember to take precautions when running in warmer weather. These precautions can help with further enlightenment, understanding, and acceptance of certain situations.
More to Learn
August is not over yet, and I am sure there will be many more lessons displayed by nature in the remaining days. These lessons will come in many forms, including sights, sounds, smells, and changes in surroundings. The perspectives offered will vary, as will the difficulty of the lessons.
There is always more to learn and experience. Our perspectives and reactions to our experiences are what sometimes limit us.
Resources and Related Links
Deer senses for survival – http://www.huntingpa.com/Whitetail%20Info.html
Drought causes – http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qadroughts.html
Running precautions in hot weather – http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/2014/07/10/take-these-4-precautions-before-exercising-in-the-heat
Scattering of light – http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108135522.htm