Finding Refuge in Nature: Appreciating Beauty in a Distressing World

Alexander Verbeek
The New Outdoors
Published in
3 min readMay 22

Tulip in Ottawa, Canada (photo: Alexander Verbeek)

After dinner, with Luna on my lap and my laptop on my side, I contemplate the themes and subjects that inspire my writing. And as often, I wonder if I should delve into the realm of pessimistic news in pursuit of more clicks and engagement on social media. Or should I write a post or publish a photo that celebrates the beauty of our planet and the joys of life?

Today, I find myself once again drawn to the allure of beauty.

Let me share with you a moment of wonder and gratitude that I experienced this morning when I focussed on this magnificent tulip, which stood out amongst its peers for its vibrant colors and graceful form. It was gently swinging in the morning breeze, proudly representing beauty, or perhaps it is better to say as a symbol of resilience, on a planet in trouble.

While we are bombarded daily with distressing headlines caused mainly by human folly, I find solace in the abundant beauty surrounding us. Over the years, as my worries about our shared future on this tiny, lush, and paradise-like rock in a cold and immense universe intensified, I increasingly found refuge in nature. I hope this tulip will also remind you of the importance of appreciating beauty.

Luna got up, and my laptop took her place. Just in time. I thought this would be the last paragraph I could produce in my twisted typing position.

I hope a simple tulip can uplift your heart as it did mine. In its clarity of nature’s design, such a flower may gently remind you to pause when your mind, surroundings, or world is in chaos. So take a short break, take a deep breath, and promise to find your tulip after reading this.

Don’t take that too literally; it doesn’t have to be a flower. It could be a small white cloud in a blue sky, a bumblebee that takes a short stop on your windowsill, or it could be a cat sleeping next to you so that you can continue to type words about beauty.

I hope you’ll find a beautiful moment that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. And then one more tomorrow and the day after that. I hope it resonates with your spirit and uplifts your heart as much as finding this tulip did mine.

Alexander Verbeek
The New Outdoors

Writer and public speaker on the beauty and fragility of nature. Please support my writing by joining Medium (affiliate link).