Zen View By Mary Layton

Natural Beauty

Driving to work the other day I saw a young woman with a backpack walking alone alongside the blooming peach orchards. It was a glorious morning, blue skies and the air soft and sweet with the smell of spring. The woman’s long redish hair gently moved behind her like a horse’s mane. I was struck by the natural beauty of the scene.

Then I had several thoughts in short succession. – This is strange, people don’t walk around here. – Is the woman safe walking by herself? – Has she lost her car or had it broken down?

With other words, even though it was the perfect day to go for a walk, my mind was going over issues.

Well…I guess we are so used to drive everywhere, even short distances, because it is faster, cooler, warmer or drier, more convenient and safer. But we also miss so much of the connection with our natural environment. A friend of mine who actually did lose his car, told me that he’s postponing buying a new one, because he really enjoys seeing the sunrise as he walks to the bus stop in the morning on his way to work. He says it’s a connection that he didn’t have before, to the elements(rain or shine), to the smells and looks of our rural setting. And also to himself, walking and feeling his own energy move.

Springtime in Modesto, and the rest of the valley, is truly beautiful. When the almond orchards begin blooming in February the place looks like heaven on earth. That show lasts usually 2 weeks. I always take pictures. If those white, sparkly blossoms don’t get knocked off by heavy rains, they will float down to orchard floor where they leave a white cover that looks like snow.

In March and April, with temperatures climbing into the 70’s, Spring has sprung. Time to weed and prune, hang in the backyard. Go for walks. Tulips and trees are blooming. Everything looks vibrant with new life. The warmth and the quality of sunlight is at it’s best.

I want to enjoy this natural beauty in the countryside, seize the moment and take a nice walk. taichi4modesto.com or call (209) 572-4518



Posted in: community, outdoor

About the Author:

Mary Layton has practiced T'ai Chi for 35 years and co-founded T'ai Chi Ch'uan Academy of Modesto in1995. She and her partner have taught hundreds of students. Mary travels frequently to learn from her teacher Grand Master Kai Ying Tung. Interested in every aspect of health Mary likes to follow a natural path. She loves writing, painting, gardening, hiking and playing piano.