Art by Mia Boggs
Have you ever truly taken a moment to look at your backyard? If you’re like me, you may have a detailed image in your mind, enough so that you could draw a clear picture of what it looks like. However, my mind has changed significantly.
Everyday for the past six weeks during quarantine, I decided to spend more time in my backyard, where I do yoga or simply lay down in the grass and soak up the sun. I have taken time out of my day to notice the beauty that lies in my own backyard.
What I found was astounding.
I did not know my home the way I thought I did. I watched the trees sway in the breeze, hummingbirds go from flower to flower, butterflies twirl in the air, and I listened to the laughter of children from neighbors’ houses. I realized the beauty laying in front of my eyes, which went unnoticed the past six years I have lived in my home.
It is amazing how much your perspective can change when you are sequestered in one place. Quarantine widened my view by narrowing it, allowing me to see a new world that has been right in front of me all along. This newfound perspective allowed me to notice how much beauty lay not just within my home, but within myself. The peacefulness of the wind, sky, and trees truly quieted my mind and allowed me to be content with myself. Rather than looking for beauty and reassurance in things that I did not have, I found the beauty in things that I already did. Heather Craid, a psychologist who writes about this appreciation, discusses in the article, “The Research of Gratitude and Its Link to Love and Happiness,” that true gratitude comes from finding a new perspective on the things you already have. It comes from finding fulfillment and joy in what life has already offered you.
It may seem like you need to have an adventure in order to have a cathartic, self-assuring experience, such as climbing Mount Everest. However, I have found that inner peace comes from noticing the beauty within your own home. As Buddha once said, “Do not look for sanctuary in anyone except yourself.” I challenge you to notice the beauty within your own home, to go outside and channel your gratitude.
There is so much beauty to be grateful for within your own backyard.