Mindful and Reflective Moments

Wendy Maragh Taylor - “For The Beauty Of The Earth”

May 05, 2021 Vassar College Season 1 Episode 6
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Wendy Maragh Taylor - “For The Beauty Of The Earth”
Chapters
Mindful and Reflective Moments
Wendy Maragh Taylor - “For The Beauty Of The Earth”
May 05, 2021 Season 1 Episode 6
Vassar College

It can be challenging to find moments to pause and reflect. During difficult personal moments, nation-wide racial injustice, and, yes, even during a pandemic, we can find beauty all around us.  Join Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor in a moment of pause and how reflections on nature can be a source of peace.

Show Notes Transcript

It can be challenging to find moments to pause and reflect. During difficult personal moments, nation-wide racial injustice, and, yes, even during a pandemic, we can find beauty all around us.  Join Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor in a moment of pause and how reflections on nature can be a source of peace.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Mindful and Reflective Moments, and thank you for joining us. In each episode,  a Vassar College community member will share a mindfulness practice and explore how their practice sustains them during these uncertain times. We hope that you enjoy the podcast and find it helpful and meaningful.

Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor:

I'm Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor, the Office of Student Growth and Engagement. Thanks for joining me for this moment of reflection. To prepare for that, I invite you to take three deep breaths with me. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Again, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Once more, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. You may close your eyes as you listen, or keep them open and focused on a fixed point, preferably not on a screen. For the beauty of the earth. For the beauty of the earth, for the glory of the skies, for the love, which from our birth over and around us lies, Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise. For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, hill, and veil, and tree and flower, sun, and moon and stars of light.

Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor:

Lord of all, to thee we raise. This our hymn of grateful praise. My days begin with song. I'm humming a tune before I'm fully awake. It is just as I grew up waking to my mother singing as she went about her morning. The light of a new day comes smiling through my window and alerts my body and mind. My alarm tuned to a recording of birds, and bells and rain joins me when I'm on my third or fourth song. Soon, I hear my girls singing too. My husband is less likely to be singing, yet definitely whistling a tune or making sure there's some form of music playing in the background as we go about our day. The days are, of course different now. The uncertainty of what is to come, when will we again spend up close and personal time with our loved ones, or how this pandemic will leave its mark on our community looms large.

Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor:

Yet it does not stop me from singing. For me, singing is joy, is comfort, is hope, is gratitude. Indeed I'm grieving, like many others. We're all experiencing varied amounts of loss, and I hope we'll allow ourselves those feelings. Still, I'm thankful for so much. Nature is an unending source of inspiration that has always been true for me. Growing up in a housing project in Brooklyn with very little beauty around me, I would look out of my apartment window and see the sunrise or sunset, or hear the rain and it's cleansing of the earth. I was filled with hope and song. For four years in college, though I didn't feel like I belonged there, I delighted in the wonderland that was the campus, with its cotton candy like trees and lush green grass, it was the first place I remember standing in the dark of night and looking up to take in the star filled sky.

Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor:

In awe, I recited the words of a song. Wherever I am and whatever is going on around me, even in the midst of this pandemic, I am inspired by nature and grounded by song. Whether hymn as my prayer, a song as my meditation or a tune to set my intentions for the day, I make a choice to utter praise for the beauty that is still this earth. How about you? Can you envision or conjure up a scene that calls to you? Is there a setting that reminds you that there is beauty in this world? Is it the warmth of the sun, the sand between your toes on a beach, the flow of the waves of a body of water, a snowy winter wonderland? Fasten your mind's eye on that scene. May it fill your soul with song and a deep gratitude for all that still is.

Dean Wendy Maragh Taylor:

Thanks for joining me in this moment of reflection. Let's end with three deep breaths. Inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Again, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Once more, inhale slowly through the nose and exhale slowly through the mouth. Be well.

Speaker 1:

Mindful and Reflective Moments is brought to you by the Vassar College Counseling Service, the Office of Health Promotion and Education, the Office of Student Growth and Engagement, and the Office of Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.