I live on a woodsy acre outside the city limits, and I consider our place a wonderful locale for welcoming in the seasons. Lots of birds, squirrels, bugs, and trees keep us attuned to the ways of the wilderness.
But for some reason, I felt more in tune with nature when I was a kid walking to and from school every day. I grew up within the city, and one could not describe my environs as "woodsy" by any stretch. But that walk every morning for 7 or 8 blocks filled my childlike, curious heart with wonder.
I loved the quiet in the morning. Always nervous about school, I would use the time walking to collect myself and prepare for anxious moments ahead. But helping that along would be the crunch of autumn leaves under my feet, or perhaps soft snowflakes brushing against my face. Teeming rain and windy days; cold, dull gray March days that refused to edge toward spring; or green, sunny May days--they all set the tone of my life as I breathed in nature's influence.
It has always been comforting to me to realize that no matter where you are, nature can insinuate itself in your life, bringing a sense of the world as a bigger place, a powerful, beautiful entity in itself for all to see.
I feel sorry for kids today who ride buses to school. They will never know the stabilizing influence of a walk with nature in the morning.