Spring is in full swing, and lots of April showers will definitely bring those May wildflowers. For nature lovers of all ages, flowers really gladden the heart. Whether the flowers popping up in your garden, or the wildflowers along your hiking trail, all these plants are fleeting. When we think of ephemeral, we think impermanency, fleeting, or for a short period of time. Many wildflowers bloom for a few days, or even a single day. The beauty in the woods celebrates the arrival of the season we have all been waiting for after a long cold winter.
As these flowers are fleeting, we can take time to enjoy the beauty around us, and take a moment to pause, breathe and then smile. Simple daily meditations such as, “thank you for this day” or “thank you for the spring beauty” or even “thank you” shows appreciation to mother nature and that we do not take her for granted, even in times when we know the petals will be blown away into the wind, or returning to the humus, to become next year’s wildflowers again.
Meditation can open a world to us that may not be as readily accessible to some, but with practice, mindfulness can become habit. Simple meditations, on wildflowers or life in general, puts into perspective that life is ever-changing, just like the seasons. It is important for each of us to take time to watch the beautiful flowers, to smell their intoxicating fragrances, to listen to the birds, and to feel the freedom of letting go … if only for a few moments … in ephemeral bliss.
The Five-Senses meditation is a basic mindfulness practice that can be done both outdoors or in. This simple process begins as follows: 1.) name five things you see, 2.) name five things you hear, 3.) name five things you smell, 4.) name five things you can touch, and finally, 5.) name something you can taste. Taste is a little more challenging if you haven’t a snack. This meditation can be used by anyone, and works exceptionally well with children who are having difficulty concentrating. I use this myself, and it brings me back to center with a calm and open mind. I highly recommend it for you.
With spring and wildflowers that steal away as quickly as they have arrived, there are other directions to look in nature. Perhaps look to the trees for their developing greenery, or to the sky for different types of clouds, or to streaming water courses or … here’s that word again, an ephemeral pond. An ephemeral, or short lived pond, means it is not there all year long but only at certain times, and by now, the frogs should be croaking and tadpoles should begin growing! What a pleasant sound to relax to.
If you are interested in finding more information on meditation, please check out our vast reference collection. There are different books for different kinds of meditation, but here are a few books I recommend: “Your Guide to Forest Bathing” by Amos Clifford (615.8 Cli); “The Nature Cure by Andreas Michalson” (615.535 Mic) and “Forest Therapy” by Sarah Ivens (790.191 Ive).
We should take that ephemeral moment to appreciate the little moments we might take for granted. A simple gratitude demonstrates to the world and others that it’s the little things that make up all the moments. Meditate your way to happiness, enjoy the spring, and stay grounded Montgomery County.
Stephanie Morrissette is a library assistant at the Reference & Local History Department at the Crawfordsville District Public Library.