Today I came across a shop called 'Nature Gifts'. It sold shells, crystals and the like in their natural state as decorations. There were also things made from natural objects including wind chimes from shells. As the shop was closed I did not have an opportunity to see all the things for sale. The name of the shop got me thinking both about gifts made from natural objects and the gifts given to us by Nature.
As a child I loved collecting shells, driftwood and smooth pebbles from the beach. I read books about things you could make by gluing shells together, sometimes with the addition of other materials. I painted rocks to make pet rocks and liked gluing things onto little pieces of driftwood.
These days there is greater environmental awareness and some say we shouldn't collect shells from the beach. There are places where local laws make it illegal or there are restrictions on the type or number that may be collected. I don't know if collecting a few shells or other natural materials like this will make a difference to the environment. Perhaps it would. I can certainly see if everyone collects lots of shells etc it would be detrimental.
Nature gives us many gifts we can enjoy just by looking at them. There are far too many to list but whenever we look around we can see beautiful and incredible things. There are rivers, valleys, canyons, mountains, lakes and oceans and they come in many variations.
Flinders Ranges Image:Marie Vonow
Snow, autumn leaves, new leaves in spring, blossom, all sorts of flowers and seed pods are amazing. There are so many different types of flora and fauna. The sky. breeze, rain, clouds, stars, sunshine, sunrise and sunset are all gifts provided by Nature.
Autumn leaves. Image:Marie Vonow
It comes back to the concept of gratitude. Appreciating the wonders provided by Nature brings a feeling of peace and helps reduce stress. Money can't buy that.