When I bought the house next door to my parents’ house 11 years ago, it brought great comfort to me as an only child and given my situation at the time. I had grown up in the house that they still lived in, and many of the neighbors in our little piece of the neighborhood were the same (albeit older as my parents were), but it was as if I had never left that little area. It is rural and quiet, and we have thick woods stretching out beyond our back yards. Although I have always appreciated the wildlife and beauty the woods bring, it certainly has come to the forefront during this last year. Spring brought new life to the sleeping trees along with a mama dear and her twins that were frequent visitors. I have always maintained a bird feeder and enjoy the many species that visit. I have seen raccoons, skunks, woodchucks, a hedgehog, and a porcupine. A few of my neighbors had seen a mama bear and three cubs on and off throughout the spring. The presence of the critters and birds slowed through the summer due to the heat, I imagine. The woods still stood tall and strong presenting a calming view when a breeze made the woods (branches) dance.

The fall brought the wildlife back more frequently. Mama deer and her twins reappeared. They looked healthy, and the babies had grown a bit. They make frequent visits once again. Of course, there are many squirrels, chipmunks, and birds storing up for the winter. The trees in the woods are a beautiful background of colors this year. Our first snow fell, creating a beauty that I was in awe of. Some trees still had leaves, while others lost all their leaves, and the contrast of the snow on these trees was beautiful. I had daisies that were still in bloom and peeked through the snow, which made me smile.

What has sustained me throughout my life when facing difficult times has been the beauty and abundance of nature. It can be simply a spectacular sunrise or sunset. Maybe it’s a bird, a flower, or even a tree that catches your eye on a particular day. Squirrels or chipmunks behaving silly as they gather food and play. Bees landing from flower to flower—even the clover flowers in the grass. It makes one contemplate the whole pollen idea, and how the flowers benefit the bees and the bees benefit the flowers.

During this most difficult year, the view from my bedroom window has provided me with happiness, wonder, and peace.