We Would Love to Know What You Are Thankful For! I Am Thankful For Something That Everyone Can Enjoy by Elizabeth Nord

I’m thankful for my family, friends, health, life, and watching my girls smile and giggle, but today I want to focus on something else that I’m thankful for…nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what the season, nature has so much to offer on many different levels. I feel inspired when I am outside. I see a world of possibilities. I feel alive, spontaneous, free, brave, calm, and fascinated.

My mother told me that she knew that I loved the outdoors the day that I learned to walk. We were at the zoo, and she said that when I started walking for the first time, I took off running towards an open field. She said that I was completely excited and happy running around the field and rolling in the grass. That was my first real experience with the complete feeling of freedom the outdoors can create!

Most of my best memories, dating all the way back to my childhood, have taken place outside. When I was a little girl, I built tree forts with my friend, Nikki. We didn’t build anything physical; we used our imagination and pretended a canopy of trees was our tree house. I liked to make mud pies too, and Nikki and I tried to sell our painted pinecones to anyone who walked or drove down our street.

When I was too young to know better, I thought I could fly. I wanted to go on an adventure. I thought my invisible wings would let me fly high up in the sky through the clouds and help me see the world from a different perspective. I climbed to my grandmother’s roof and flew—right smack into a tree. From that experience, I learned not to jump from tall buildings without a parachute, and that I could climb trees to get the different perspective that I was looking for.

I played soccer quite a bit growing up, and I still remember one particular game that stands out as my favorite. I don’t remember if I played well or who won, but I remember that it was snowing. We could hardly see the white soccer ball, but it was so much fun chasing the ball around in the snow! It’s always fun to play in the snow!

When I was a pre-teen, I found a litter of feral kittens near our house. I was convinced their mother had abandoned them, so I tried to feed and nurture them day after day and week after week in hopes that they would become my pets. It was an adventure and a challenge for me. After many hisses, bites, and scratches, I realized that sometimes wild animals are meant to stay that way.

As an adult, I love the natural beauty that surrounds us. It may be a flowing river, gorgeous sunset, picturesque mountain, little wild critters running around, the sound of the ocean waves pulling pebbles along the seashore, or a delicate flower—beauty can be found everywhere.

I love to observe nature. I love to watch sea turtles, chipmunks, bears, and horses in the wild. Okay, I have never seen a wild horse, but I’d love to! I am fascinated by the jewels nature has to offer–seashells, gorgeous rocks, fascinating twisting vines, exotic plants, sweet smells, berries that sooth bee stings, delicious raw fruits and vegetables, sand dollars, lightning, stars, a full moon, gorgeous intricate unique patterns on living things, and clouds that look like angels.

I have a love affair with the ocean. I could stare out at the ocean for hours and I have. The ocean calms me and helps me consciously feel my emotions like nothing else can. I am continuously drawn to water. The ocean is so full of energy and life. I love that the ocean is ever-changing. It can be powerful, active, unpredictable, calm, productive, soothing, mysterious, intriguing, fun, scary, and beautiful. I can relax more when I’m outside, even if I’m just sitting in the sun. I am thankful for the cool breeze on my face and the sun on my back.

I like to play outside! It can be swimming, skiing, walking, soccer, paddle boarding, hiking, horse riding, throwing snowballs, sledding, building sand castles, collecting rocks, or whatever… I love it all! I still run around in wide-open fields and beaches—but now, I’m usually chasing my daughters.

When I go for a run by myself, I don’t listen to music and I don’t use a treadmill. That works for me. My mind is clear when I’m outside. When I’m in motion, creative thoughts come to me and decisions are made. Some of my best ideas have come to me while I’m running or walking. When I return home, I quickly run to my notebook to write down my thoughts. Sometimes, I like to run while it’s misting or raining because that motivates me and it pushes me to run faster. Sometimes it feels like the rain has an emotional cleansing effect on me.

I can challenge myself in nature. Learning to ski as an adult was tricky for me, at first. But, I kept going back to the mountains until I prevailed. I love being active with my husband, kids, and friends. It can be a great bonding experience.

I like to investigate. I like to try new trails, hike new places, see new land, and try new things. I like to look under rocks for insects, crabs, or some other unexpected surprise. Nature has so much to offer.

I am hopeful that I am passing on my love of nature to my daughters. They are young and immersed in the fun of the outdoors. They love to play make-believe by a river, watch the clouds make shapes, dance in the rain, swim in the ocean, collect sea shells and sea glass, build igloos, play in the dirt and mud, skip rocks, make snow angels, run through fields, make “homes” for little critters, and catch frogs.

I am thankful for nature and the world of possibilities that it creates. I like the way I feel when I’m outside—I come alive. You don’t need anything, but your imagination, to enjoy the great outdoors. You can have fun, create, play, relax, and learn. Even at thirty-seven years old, I still like to jump over puddles; I like to see how far I can jump without getting wet. It’s the simple pleasures that give me joy.

* What are you thankful for? We would love to hear from all our readers around the world!!

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12 Responses to “We Would Love to Know What You Are Thankful For! I Am Thankful For Something That Everyone Can Enjoy by Elizabeth Nord”

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  9. Great site. Plenty of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks in your effort!

  10. Sarah-Helen Says:

    Thank you so much. Beautifully written and presented, and it reminded me of so many important aspects of myself, my childhood, my loved ones, and our world. I really needed this today, and came across it “by accident.”

  11. I am happy to share all my joy with loved ones. Sounds hoakey & corny, I know. But … I got really sick, and lost a high paying job. Thought I would never make a come back. But, with the comraderie of friends, and a different albeit low paying job, I am happy to be able to eat, have love given to me, celebrate life and work. Live, laugh love and pray … what more does one need?? And, I am sooo grateful!!

  12. LOVE THIS – exactly how I feel!

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