White Blanket

By Quin Staats – If there was one piece of advice that I had to share; ‘words to live by’ that, in my opinion, are tried, tested, and true—I would say the same thing every single time. A very simple but highly valuable piece of advice: “Go outside. Especially when you don’t feel like it”.

This is a lesson I was given after spending a substantial amount of time in the Great Outdoors.

But that’s a story for another time.

Have you ever been in a completely uncomfortable state? You can feel stuck, anxious, pent-up, stagnant, and sometimes have zero clues what to even do with yourself. I’ve had my share of these types of feelings. For me, my foolproof remedy for this stagnant state is to go outside and listen!

When I’m outside, energy more easily flows from the ground into my heels and through my head. Immediately my mind, body, and soul feel less cramped as energy runs in a perfect circle between myself and Mother Earth.

With no worldly distractions, I can listen to and just observe my surroundings. Before too long, a conversation begins within myself. It’s usually reoccurring thoughts and/or questions on my mind, a conversation stuck on repeat.

After I indulge in this conversation for a bit I eventually end up having a direct interaction with Nature that catches my full attention. I’ll hear something or see something, feel something or simply notice something very specific. I then take time to observe whatever I experienced, totally ordinary, completely un-ordinary, or magically extraordinary.

Once I’ve spent some time analyzing and learning about the nature of whatever I’m interacting with, I begin to realize (every time) that Nature is giving me a metaphorical answer to the questions or worries on my mind. Sometimes my thoughts are pure curiosity and excitement, other times they are frightening and troubling.

Nevertheless, without fail, a lesson always lays outside—if you are but willing to listen carefully and patiently enough to hear it or see it.

My lesson the other day came after a 20cm-thick layer of snow-caked the surface of Turtle Island within hours.

Hardly much to whine about, but the rate at which it accumulated had people in a bit of a frenzy. The storm absorbed all this tense energy from the people and roaring with a sharp wind, forcing everyone into the warmth of shelter.

Once the streets were deserted and silent, I went out on the balcony during the clear moonlit still of the night, finding myself in one of those uncomfortable states. The snow was still slowly sprinkling down onto an undisturbed White Blanket of cool serenity. It was like Mother Nature’s white flag of peace that instantly puts you at peace!

The storm forced everyone inside, sometimes the inward is very necessary. It’s important to stay still once in a while, and completely slow down.

I know I’ve talked a lot lately about snow and the cold of Winter! In my defense, it’s been less than easy to ignore. And that’s the great things about all these conversations—they’re completely custom to each person.

Each person has their own thoughts and questions, individual and personal to their own spirit. Nature has its own answers for everyone, our state of mind changes how we perceive lots of things, in fact, everything.

Looking at the sky, you might see the moon, and I might see the milky way.

These conversations are never immediate, and often the topic isn’t exactly crystal clear. But once you start speaking her language and listening for any form of communication, the life-chats and life-lessons start rolling.

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