Photo essay: Oases of calm abound in turbulent times

Make a list of ways to boost your spirits — and follow it

A walk in the woods does wonders for body and soul. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

The news was bad so I went to the woods. Luckily, trees are still fairly easy to come by in our area. Most parks are open though facilities are not.

Just a few minutes down a trail I began to breathe more easily. Thoughts of disease, impending disaster, curfews, shortages faded to the background. Oaks leafing out against a perfection of blue sky, birdsong and the buzzing of bees took their place. Faith and reason (in the words of the philosopher) were restored.

Irises are blooming in damp places. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

I made the rounds in South Sarasota County: Curry Creek, Rohlwing Parcel, Sleeping Turtles, Carlton Reserve, Deer Prairie Creek, Jelks Preserve, Oscar Scherer State Park. (Check out your county parks online. If parks close you’ve got treed communities to walk in.)

The new green of spring is a contrast to the blue sky. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

Spending time outdoors was hugely beneficial. Distracted and dismayed, I would hurry to get to a park. My trip home was always slow and sure.

There I started thinking about what might be at hand to call upon in these turbulent times. I came up with a myriad of other ways— and things — to boast my spirits.

This time of year, cardinals sing all day. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

Make your own list. Here are some of my ideas:

  • Listen to a favorite piece of music.
  • Interact with a loved one.
  • Organize a closet or workshop.
  • Tuck into a favorite novel, poetry or spiritual reading.
  • Take a news break.
  • Do yoga or chi gong.
  • Put in a new flowerbed or container garden.
  • Bring out old board games; doing the crossword.
  • Step outside to take in clouds and birdsong.
  • Mop the floors.
  • Open doors and windows.
  • Look through old photographs.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Nap during the day.
  • Cook up a favorite recipe or concoct a new one.
  • Put together puzzles.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Dance in the kitchen.
  • Play with a rubber ducky in the bathtub.
  • Take a wildlife census of your yard and neighborhood.
  • Sulfur butterflies are as plentiful as beggarticks. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri
    Clouds are delectable all times of day but especially at sunset. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri
    Bring the outdoors in. Bouquets all over (even in the bathroom) greatly improve the atmosphere. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri
    Children love helping in the garden. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri
    What’s there not to love about a squirrel? Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

    A wildlife census of your yard and neighborhood may turn up some nighttime marauders. Photo contributed by Fran Palmeri

2 thoughts on “Photo essay: Oases of calm abound in turbulent times”

  1. Once again, Fran Palmeri captures the sublime beauty that we in Florida are so fortunate to enjoy.
    Her prose and photography are treasure troves of learning and teaching for us all.

  2. Always always rejoice when Fran offers an essay. Both the images and the words are sublime. Thanks !!!

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