I’m not that kind of a person, who can have a lack of inspiration. When life seems dark and overshadowed, all I need to do to meet my Muse is…to go for a walk in a local park. Regardless of the season, I am always excited about admiring the Mother Nature and absorbing its beauty. There are so many aspects in this world of fauna and flora that describing its splendor by means of simple words could take hours, days, weeks, months and…even years! Nonetheless, it still won’t be enough! What do I like nature for? Its uniqueness. Green leaves, tiny snow flocks shining in the sun, rainy days when the fall begins, the first flowers of the spring – everything is beautiful and so unlike anything else you have ever seen and will ever see in this life!
Summer… Who doesn’t like it? Even those people, who can’t stand heat, will definitely agree that life is great when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the world seems to be absolutely carefree! There’s nothing more compelling than a starry summer night, a fresh air, a fire and a guitar. The best stories have been shared under the summer night sky.
Autumn…While some people consider it the time when the rainy sky actually falls down on the ground, I find no better time to relax and get inspired. The sky is crying, the wind seems to be mad at everyone waking in the gray streets, but my heart full of inexpressible nostalgia. Wandering over the cold city, admiring the falling leaves and looking for my reflection in the puddle – no other time of the year can provide you with such a privilege to enjoy your loneliness and feel how the weather shares your passions.
Winter… The pleasant girl’s voice from the radio tried to convince me that “spring brings the rain, with winter comes pain…”, but so in vain. Winter is one of the synonyms for “magic”. At least it is so for me. Winter takes you away to the fantasy universe with the fluffy snowflakes, snow angels, shiny Christmas tree with presents and honest expectations than the New Year will bring something special. It feels like the trees are sleeping tight under a warm blanket, waiting for the spring to wake them up once again…
Spring…The first warmth of the spring sun provides you with a unique opportunity to admire the beauty of nature in its most compelling view! Beautiful plants and trees refresh the spring air with wonderful scents. Some people say that together with fantastic views and aromas that simply make you fall in love with the whole world, spring also brings hope. Hope for a new life, new discoveries and a better future. And I totally agree with such viewpoints.
To cut the long story short, I am absolutely open to state that every time of the year provides us all with a bunch of desired inspiration for life. Nature’s beauty, just as it is, makes us feel the harmony of the world and lets us dream on.
About Steven Arndt
Steven Arndt is a passionate writer, educator and a former History teacher. He tends to reconsider the role of modern education in our society and watches with awe the freedom the youth now has.
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. . .would begin with an image so startling and lovely and wondrous that you would stop riffling through the rest of the mail, take your jacket off, sit down at the table, adjust your spectacles, tell the dog to lie down, tell the kids to make their own sandwiches for heavenssake, that’s why god gave you hands, and read straight through the piece, marveling that you had indeed seen or smelled or heard exactly that, but never quite articulated it that way, or seen or heard it articulated that way, and you think, man, this is why I read nature essays, to be startled and moved like that, wow.
The next two paragraphs would smoothly and gently move you into a story, seemingly a small story, a light tale, easily accessed, something personal but not self-indulgent or self-absorbed on the writer’s part, just sort of a cheerful nutty everyday story maybe starring an elk or a mink or a child, but then there would suddenly be a sharp sentence where the dagger enters your heart and the essay spins on a dime like a skater, and you are plunged into waaay deeper water, you didn’t see it coming at all, and you actually shiver, your whole body shimmers, and much later, maybe when you are in bed with someone you love and you are trying to evade his or her icy feet, you think, my god, stories do have roaring power, stories are the most crucial and necessary food, how come we never hardly say that out loud?
The next three paragraphs then walk inexorably toward a line of explosive Conclusions on the horizon like inky alps. Probably the sentences get shorter, more staccato. Terser. Blunter. Shards of sentences. But there’s no opinion or commentary, just one line fitting into another, each one making plain inarguable sense, a goat or even a senator could easily understand the sentences and their implications, and there’s no shouting, no persuasion, no eloquent pirouetting, no pronouncements and accusations, no sermons or homilies, just calm clean clear statements one after another, fitting together like people holding hands.
Then an odd paragraph, this is a most unusual and peculiar essay, for right here where you would normally expect those alpine Conclusions, some Advice, some Stern Instructions & Directions, there’s only the quiet murmur of the writer tiptoeing back to the story he or she was telling you in the second and third paragraphs. The story slips back into view gently, a little shy, holding its hat, nothing melodramatic, in fact it offers a few gnomic questions without answers, and then it gently slides away off the page and off the stage, it almost evanesces or dissolves, and it’s only later after you have read the essay three times with mounting amazement that you see quite how the writer managed the stagecraft there, but that’s the stuff of another essay for another time.
And finally the last paragraph. It turns out that the perfect nature essay is quite short, it’s a lean taut thing, an arrow and not a cannon, and here at the end there’s a flash of humor, and a hint or tone or subtext of sadness, a touch of rue, you can’t quite put your finger on it but it’s there, a dark thread in the fabric, and there’s also a shot of espresso hope, hope against all odds and sense, but rivetingly there’s no call to arms, no clarion brassy trumpet blast, no website to which you are directed, no hint that you, yes you, should be ashamed of how much water you use or the car you drive or the fact that you just turned the thermostat up to seventy, or that you actually have not voted in the past two elections despite what you told the kids and the goat. Nor is there a rimshot ending, a bang, a last twist of the dagger. Oddly, sweetly, the essay just ends with a feeling eerily like a warm hand brushed against your cheek, and you sit there, near tears, smiling, and then you stand up. Changed.
Brian Doyle is the editor of Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon. He is the author of nine books of essays, nonfiction, and “proems.” His most recent book is Mink River, winner of ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for Editor’s Choice –Fiction (2010).