My Old Friend, The Ground
I have been snapping pictures of the ground at my feet for a reason I can’t quite explain. I feel as if I am searching for something lost. It’s not my keys, my wallet, or a lost mitten. It’s more of a search for an old friend.
When I was little I would spend what seemed like hours in the backyard digging pathways and building homes in the pea gravel. Small narrow flat rocks were couches and beds, plump oval ones – the size of a five year olds thumb – became cars, and tiny pebbles were people. I would keep at it until I created neighborhoods complete with families, parks, and connecting towns.
Other times I sprawled in the grass watching ants hard at work, inspecting tiny white daisies, or looking for four-leaf clovers. What I remember most was the fascination of being nose-level with a world that was smaller than me and without limit. The ground was safe, commanded respect, and smelled of earthy-green sunlight.
These days if I am walking in the mountains or any path outside the city – and I get down really low on my knees and crouch at eye level – I can see a familiar world on the ground. It’s a tiny replica of the bigger version up above. Yet down below, it’s not at all like it is up here.
The light reflects its true beauty when you stoop to view at eye level. I find multi-colored moss, water seeking its own, soft red and grey stones of all different shapes and sizes, knotted sticks, twisted debris, and dried flowers in golden brown. When I take the time to notice, I see that this world down on the ground is vibrant, alive, complex, timeless, and complete.
I have found my old friend, the ground. She is familiar, nurturing, and warm when the sun is shining. It’s good to return to the solid ground once again. I hope I don’t lose her stillness, filled with greening life and light.
Note: this piece was also published on The Kindness Blog!
Author: Kathryn Thomsen
Founder of Hundredgivers, a nonprofit supporting and accelerating sustainability initiatives benefiting local and global communities. In addition to social entrepreneur, Kathryn is a consultant, researcher, writer, communicator and urban farmer. She collaborates with individuals, organizations, and businesses to evaluate and develop climate change, clean energy, and sustainability strategies and programs.