Resolutions that Come Naturally


Something that I enjoy listening for on a cold winter morning is the cheery song of a robin perched high atop a roof, a tree, or anything else that’s tall. I once read that male robins sing in the morning if they have enough energy left over from keeping warm through the night. I know they are actually being territorial with those left over calories, but it is enjoyable, isn’t it?

As we look forward to a new year, many of our thoughts turn to resolutions, and what better place to go for inspiration than the outdoors?


Hiking is just as good for the soul as it is for the body if you consider what the forest reveals to us. With deep roots keeping them planted firmly in the ground, trees gently sway in the breeze, exhibiting tremendous flexibility and adapting to whatever is thrown their way. Animals observed are busy consuming food higher in fat and protein to ensure their warmth and survival. They’re so absorbed in this task, they’re completely unconcerned with the pressure to lose weight in the new year! In fact Carolina chickadees gain up to ten percent of their weight a day when it’s cold. However, they don’t fret about the weight gain, as they lose as much through the night while shivering to stay warm.

This time of year, it’s hard to miss the flash mobs of starlings and grackles descending upon backyards, fields, or just about anywhere. They seem like a boisterous, careless gang of chaos until they take flight. Their murmurations can be mesmerizing as they float in unison, shape shifting, taking subtle cues from each other, to move as one strong entity.

To observe the natural world and be still is an exceeding difficult task, as we have busy lives, full of responsibilities and distractions. But just a few minutes out there can be rewarding—a feeling that you are a part of something marvelous and some of those resolutions will just end up falling into place.

Suzanne Roth, Farbach-Werner Naturalist