The other evening, I was watching the last of the hummingbirds feed from the feeder on my deck. I was thinking about how much I enjoy those little creatures, and how blessed and joyful I feel to have them on my deck.
Appreciation for connecting moments with all living creatures and nature has been a benefit of working in hospice. Over my career in health care, I have spent a great deal of those years in hospice work. Without a doubt, my involvement with hospice, specifically hospice patients, has taught me to appreciate these moments in nature such as watching hummingbirds, sunsets, and counting the stars as they appear in the sky.
Facing the possibility of a limited number of days to live, many hospice patients teach through their actions and words that making a conscious connection to nature can help sustain and foster a sense of life, regardless of the number of days that one may live. Appreciation of the beauty of nature and others connects us to life through expression of the feelings of appreciation and gratitude. We then connect to life, not death, by focusing on the present moment.
Life makes itself known only in the present moment as does death. And so, hospice patients have taught me much about how to live life by staying connected to it in each moment. A good lesson for all of us.