Parking Garage

Mother nature can teach a person many lessons

Apr 17 • Opinion • 1681

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As we near the end of the semester, the amount of course work seems to grow and with it so does the stress levels; however, sometimes you need to take a break and do what makes you happy.
While being in college I have been focusing on juggling my grades, job, extracurricular activities and future. As a result, I don’t have much free time and sometimes it is hard for me to step away from my work.
Over the weekend I went to Meadville — a small town near Erie — to get my car fixed. I had the option of going back to Erie that day or staying the weekend with family in Venango — another small town near Erie.
Erie is not a bad city, but it can be a noisy place. Take a second and close your eyes; listen closely to the world around you. What do you hear — people laughing, engines humming or sirens blaring?
This is common when living in any city and sometimes being bombarded by these monotonous noises can add to the stress — especially while studying. Because of this, I opted to spend the weekend in a remote place in Venango surrounded by the woods.
On the first night nothing was accomplished; I felt drained. The next day I attempted to get some work done, but again nothing was accomplished; therefore, I decided to work outside but still no luck.
I then took to the woods with my camera hoping to capture new shots for my portfolio. Of course, the entire time I did I was preoccupied with what I needed to do for the week. Even my photos appeared to lack something.
While standing next to a swamp photographing the different plants growing, I was mentally writing a script for a final project. While lining up a shot of a little lizard popping its head out of the pond, I developed an idea for my internship. I could go on, but I am sure that you would get bored reading, so I will cut to the point.
As I continued wondering — and pondering — I heard a tapping above me. As I looked up to the trees’ canopies I saw two woodpeckers hunting for dinner. After several minutes of pecking at the branches, the odd birds appeared to give up and began to play. Five minutes later, they both returned to work.
I drew my camera to my eye and began to capture the birds; as I did it made me realize that they had two important lessons to teach. The first, it is OK to take a break and to enjoy the trivial things. The second, woodpeckers do not like the sound of camera shutters.
Later in the evening, I decided to try to relax and focus on my surroundings. The cicadas were chirping in the distance as the sun began to set behind the trees. Seeing the sun’s red glow on the trees was beautiful.
Soon after the mosquitos began to feast, I knew it was time to get back to work. I took the woodpeckers’ lessons with me and decided that was enough fun for the day and went back to work. As I did, I felt inspired and ready to pick up where I left off. That night I accomplished more than I had planned to.
So as you continue to push through the remainder of the semester, I wish you luck and I hope you took something away from reading this — whether it be that Venango is a place or that the nature can teach you a lesson or two.

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