Begin with Joy

Cherry Blossoms and the Joy Connection

– Posted in: Connect to Joy

What a delight to be strolling through the National Arboretum in Washington, DC when the cherry trees were in blossom during the first part of April. The snow had melted and the sun was shining.

In addition to flowering cherry trees, there were other features to enjoy.

In mid-April the herb garden was still fairly dormant. However, it was an excellent time to admire the beautiful garden design.

At the topmost point of the Arboretum stands the original stone columns of the U.S. Capitol building. At the site there were historical photos showing these columns as the backdrop to the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln. Very cool. At some point, the Capitol building was renovated with newer columns. These older columns were moved to the present site.

I loved the Japanese garden and bonsai exhibit. At least one of the bonsai plants was over 100 years old. Impressive.

Ron Henderson is a renowned landscape architect. He was quoted as saying, “No flower falls as beautifully to the earth as the petals of the cherry blossom.”

I can recall the sense of peacefulness as I watched the wind blow through those cherry trees. For me there is a strong connection between natural beauty and restfulness and peace.

I read once about a study that concluded that just the act of watching birds at a backyard birdfeeder can increase the life expectancy of older adults.

I believe that the same holds true for strolling around a backyard garden, an arboretum or a national park.

Connecting with nature slows down the frenzy of our thoughts.

Connecting with nature reboots our bodies to allow peace and restfulness to flow through our veins.

We relax in the splendor of the marvelous creation of our natural world.

Sadly, our culture has become one of disconnection.

We have disconnected from our bodies.

We have disconnected from nature.

We have disconnected from the physical presence of other human beings.

We have disconnected from our Creator.

People have never been busier. People have never been lonelier.

It does not have to be this way. This does not have to be your reality. You can choose to reconnect.

Perhaps, you can begin today. Find a place of natural beauty – a backyard, a park path, a nearby pond. Stroll, sit and rest. Revel in your senses as you soak in the sights, sounds and smells of that place.

Feel rested. Feel peace. Feel joy.