Last month John Grant, aka Meticulous Mick, shared the importance of nature, travel, and culture to make one feel truly alive. In my monthly series, The Life Enthusiast Chronicles, fantastic humans from all over the world explain why life is so incredible to them.
Today I’m excited to present Andrea Stephenson of Harvesting Hecate to you all. Andrea’s blog exudes mysticism and playfulness and is always a phenomenal one to read. Often I feel that I am seeing the world like a child again when I read her posts. She marvels at the world around her, especially mother nature, and her beautiful way with words shines brightly every time. This gal’s been on my list of Life Enthusiast prospects for some time, so I’m pleased to finally have her over.
Connect with Andrea on Twitter.
Wow us, Andrea…
When Britt asked me to contribute to her life enthusiast series, I thought: ‘who me?’ I was honoured and not a little nervous to be counted among this group of inspiring bloggers.
And I haven’t always been enthusiastic about life. Years of sporadic depression and difficult life events in the last decade have seriously tested my enthusiasm.
But what has always propelled me forward and the reason I could never give up on life, is curiosity.
It’s easy to forget how miraculous the world is. We often take it and our existence in it for granted, when the fact that we’re here at all is a miracle in itself. Whether you see our existence as god-given or a happy accident, here we are, living and breathing and enjoying all of the things the world has to offer.
I began this post in the heart of the forest, surrounded by small miracles.
Above my head, nestled in the eaves of the veranda, is a swallow’s nest. An astounding feat of engineering, moulded from dirt that seems precariously positioned.
The parents are relentless. You can watch them in the distance, swooping for insects. They return every few minutes, for hours, perching on the edge of the nest to feed their chirruping babies. They never miss, flitting in and out in seconds as the babies become more vocal. And then I have only to look before me to see other small miracles: the trailing larch with its delicate branches and ruddy fir cones, waving grasses, luminous buttercups, luscious orchids.
I’m at my most content, my most ‘me’ surrounded by nature. Wandering through a forest, or along the coast, with a dog at my side is perfection.
And though I could simply soak it up and be content at its beauty, there’s always that part of me that is curious about what I see. You’ll often hear me mutter to myself ‘I wonder what that is’ and I’ll head over to have a look and make a wonderful discovery. More than anything, I’m curious about how all of this came to be and why it is so varied. Why not just one species of fly, one species of bird, one species of mammal?
The world is a cornucopia of beauty. Every single thing has purpose and sometimes it stops me in my tracks when I remember how amazing it is.
I would enjoy nature knowing nothing about it. But knowing the little that I do: how well everything works together, the continuous cycle of life and of the seasons, gives me added enjoyment. I love mystery, but I also love to know what something is. I’m curious not only about how things work but about what will happen next…where will I be in ten years time, what will I live to see, what experiences will I have had?
I think life is about exploration. It doesn’t matter whether you explore the world or you never leave your home town, it’s about exploring the wonders of life. And we all have interests that prompt that exploration.
And yes, this world can be cruel and horrific.
Sometimes being curious might seem like a disadvantage, because it causes me to think deeply about the terrible things that happen too. I rarely just accept, instead I question and rail against. Not always a comfortable state of being. But this does mean that I connect, with the good and the bad, and that makes for a fuller experience of life.
I’m creative because I’m curious. If I had no curiosity, I’d have no desire to follow a story to its conclusion or to continue brushing paint on a canvas.
The easiest way to be unenthusiastic about life is to lack curiosity. So if you’re feeling apathetic, my advice is to find something you can be curious about.