For those who don't know, for my "day job," I'm employed as a nanny for the most ideal family. I get to spend 3-4 days a week as a secondary caregiver for Luella, the sweetest baby I've ever encountered. Some days, like yesterday, this involves taking Little Lu on a fun little outing. After weeks of talking about having a baby-date with my friend Maggie, who is also a nanny, we decided to get the little ones together and take them to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
We had such an enjoyable, relaxing time as we navigated our strollers down the winding paths, chit-chatting and taking pictures of the gorgeous flora. I think our collective favorite area was the room full of cacti, and I was particularly taken with the way the tulips swayed in the breeze. It was great for the babes, too; Luella seemed so relaxed, and Maggie's charge even fell asleep. The weather is really warming up in these parts, and I'm greatly looking forward to all the adventures Lu and I will have this spring and summer.
As it often does, spending time in nature (and even while editing my photos from the trip) reminded me of the words of Thoreau. Since I'd been surrounded with beautiful growth that had been carefully cultivated over time, the paraphrased version of this quote came to mind:
"The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly."
It's amazing what a listening ear, encouraging words, and a certain tenderness can do for the soul. Having recently made a few empowering friends, like Maggie, who have offered me the above and more, this quote resonates with me even further. I've found myself incredibly inspired to be an even better friend to those who have invested their time in me, and also to be kinder to myself. The potential for growth is astounding when we cultivate those around us with tender care.
xx, Kelsey Lee