Dr. Rich Patterson

Woodland Pond

As you look at this photo, what do you see?  It is a woodland pond in a forest and depending on the habitat, it could be anywhere.  Their size can vary greatly depending on the amount of open water they contain.  They are very rich in bird life and teaming with food.  If you sit still for a couple of hours, you can see a variety of Moose, White-tailed Deer, Otter, mink and waterfowl.  The peacefulness that they contain is priceless and well worth your time to enjoy and to sit quietly by yourself or with a friend.

But what can they teach us?  Being an educator, much of what I look at relates to kids, but also to adults as well.  All of us, kids particularly are busy all the time doing things, listening to things, talking, texting, moving about getting this done with the busyness of life.  Whether you have access to a woodland pond or just a photo, teach your kids to sit quietly without any distractions.  Unplug, silent phones and take time for them.  We all get so busy with life that when we’re faced with a decision in which we must consult ourselves for an answer, we have not idea where to start.  This is true of kids particularly and they want an answer to be presented to them.  So they ask a friend or look something up on the internet.  But what if the answer can only come from you, from your thoughts and psyche?  Then what?  If we don’t develop the skill of consulting our self when we don’t need anything in particular, then how can we find an answer that can only come from us when we need it?

When an area such as the photo above encounter logging and fire, they are devastated, but they quickly recover.  An entirely new habitat is created and the birds and various animals enjoy the new open space that has been created.  I have studied several areas that have been damaged by fire.  The first plants to come back are those that actually have seeds that are encouraged by fire.  As the forest replaces itself, it goes through many cycles and changes on its way to looking once again like the photo above.

In our lives when we encounter devastation, loss, or those things in life that we just can’t explain we need to be more like the woodland pond.  Go first to those things that are readily availably to get yourself started.  Rather than concentrating on the loss think instead of the new routines that it will create, the different ways you will have to use your imagination.  Some birds actually prefer the open spaces, the immature forest as it recovers.  Take time to find out what your answers are, even if you don’t know the questions by taking some time for peace, preferably in the forest, if not, get a good photo and close your eyes and just accept what comes into your being.

Enjoy the peace and connections of the Woodland Pond,

Rich