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 looked 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. My old friend, the ground, was safe and smelled of earthy-green sunlight.
These days if I am walking in the forest or any path outside the city – and I crouch down really low to meet the ground at its level – I can see a familiar world. It’s a tiny replica of the bigger version up above.
Light reflects nature’s true beauty when you stoop to see the tiny world below. I find multi-colored moss, water seeking its own, and soft stones of all different shapes, sizes and colors. Knotted sticks, twisted debris, and dried flowers in golden brown. When I take the time to notice, I see that this world 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 ground once again. I hope I don’t lose her solid stillness, filled with greening life and light.
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.