Discovering, Defining, and Nurturing Glimmers

By Becky EbertAugust 14, 2023

I took a walk with my dog the other day. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence. We take a stroll around the neighborhood, a park, or a muddy trail nearly every day—except for Sundays. Sundays are for rest usually. The difference with this particular walk, however, was that I wasn’t in a rush.

Bucky, my dog, is never in a rush. He gives his full attention to whatever patch of grass he’s smelling, the flock of birds daring to fly overhead, or the stranger he’s hoping might say hello and ask to pet him. I can’t say the same for myself. While my body is moving, short legs attempting to keep up with his rather gangly ones, my head is scattered. I wonder how much time remains of my lunch break, I recall the ever-evolving to-do list that sits in my Notes app, and I fret over wondering if I’ll have the energy to do everything that supposedly needs to get done. On the outside, I’m walking with my dog. On the inside, I’m riddled with stress and anxiety. To be honest, I’m burnt out. 

These internal storms of discomfort often become a dull roar, but they’re there, and they swell with momentum when an external disruption occurs. A kind-hearted text from a friend is enough to send me spiraling because a text usually requires a reply, and then another, and then another. One task ticked off the to-do list is soon replaced by a new one. There’s always something or someone asking for care, time, and attention—and they often ask within an overlapping moment. It’s a cycle, and the cycle doesn’t seem to end. It might be an age-old metaphor, but I do feel I am a hamster on a spinning wheel lately.

Some moments, I wonder if it’s just me. Am I the only one who can’t handle this? Am I exceptionally sensitive to a fault? Am I alone in being unable to keep up with the pace of 24-hour news and hyper-connectivity? 

I really don’t think I am. I think we’re all hurting and grieving.

I think we’re all overwhelmed—at least on the inside—by what’s happening around us and being thrown at us on a daily basis.

This takes me back to the walk I mentioned. The walk that was different than the rest. I don’t remember if I had my phone on me, I probably left it in the car in a declaration of defiance, but if it was on my body, I didn’t pay it any mind. I didn’t pay a single thing that wasn’t directly before my senses any mind. I could feel the sun warming my face and my feet shuffling ahead. I could hear the jingle of Bucky’s tags clanking merrily. I could smell the dewy grass. And I could see the contrasting pace at which nature was operating.

Along the walk, I paused my movements to take in and notice things I would have missed otherwise. A red-winged blackbird perched on a fence—its inky wings highlighted by a bold red and bright yellow. A small rainbow trout lazily swimming in the murky waters of a pond. And me, existing not outside of it but within it. A part of it.

And when I matched the pace, I felt the waters inside of me shift and settle, as if the thrashing waves were now just lapping gently against the shore, knowing the pull of the moon would be there to guide them.

In the grand scheme of things, this blossoming of peace was quiet and small. It wasn’t flashy or glorious. It was a glimmer. A glimmer of hope, of calm, of guidance. It allowed me to reconnect to nature, and through nature, I came back to myself. Even just for a collection of minutes.

Now I’m not suggesting a glimmer can only stem from the great outdoors. Just as we are shaken by varying situations, topics, and environments, our glimmers exist on a spectrum as well. While I was graced by a deep peace, a glimmer expands beyond that. It can be something that ignites hope, fills us with gratitude, or allows us to feel the depth of true connection. So it might be the divine taste of the foam on your cappuccino, it might be the way a particular scene in a movie creates a belly laugh and leads to tears, and it might be the way creating a piece of art allows your brain to shut off and your soul to zone in. Ultimately, it’s yours to discover, define, and nurture.

The effects of my particular “glimmer” have lasted weeks, reminding me to pause. To slow my breathing. To spend my waking hours not running to or from any one thing. To notice a bird. To give my full attention to the task at hand. To be mesmerized by a silly fish. To just be. 

“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.” ― Andy Goldsworthy

People need other people. You are not weak for wanting or needing support. If you’re seeking professional help, we encourage you to use TWLOHA’s FIND HELP Tool. If you reside outside of the US, please browse our growing International Resources database. You can also text TWLOHA to 741741 to be connected for free, 24/7 to a trained Crisis Text Line counselor. If it’s encouragement or a listening ear that you need, email our team at [email protected]

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Comments (8)

  1. Rayma Perez

    How come I feel like I’m the only one who hears the cries of victims of abuse? How come others don’t believe that it’s happening all around? What happened to love they neighbor? What happened to true love and I mean every day true love for mankind?
    My God please tell me where it is.
    I feel like a monster and I don’t like this feeling. I want to just say screw this and disappear never to be seen again. I don’t want to die, for years I’ve wanted to die, but I don’t want to feel the suffering of others that I feel daily and no one will help their suffering, their pain?
    I guess the world is just too busy to care, so why should I?
    Because that’s how God made me…. God made me with a caring heart to do whatever it takes to help my fellow friends and strangers. I want to stray from these ways, but my heat will not allow me to.
    I will stand with you and if you can’t stand…then I will stand for you and fight for your faith and peace.
    I don’t know why I even commented.
    I do know that today… living really hurts!

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      We are grateful for your vulnerability and heart, Rayma. We work to build a future that is based upon compassion and gentleness, and the space for hard things to exist amidst the gentleness. We hope for a kinder tomorrow by being kind today.

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  2. K

    It takes only one small thing that is ‘nice’; someone’s smile, the smell of cut grass, a moment when I have to wait for something so my mind can be alone, jus for a moment. It reminds me to cherish the little things that can pass me by while I too rush everywhere. Thank you for sharing your ‘glimmer’.

    Reply  |  
  3. Debi Davis

    We lost my nephew, 20 years old, to suicide 06/16/2022. I’d walk a million miles for him.

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      Hi Debi,

      We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your nephew last summer. We send you love and hope for healing. If you’d like to share more, you can email our team at [email protected]. For professional support, we hope you’ll visit

      With Hope,

      Reply  |  
  4. Carey

    This is beautiful! Yes!! We ARE Nature, and so many of us feel so disconnected from ourselves. Experiencing nature with all your senses, getting your bare feet on the ground, hugging a tree. It truly helps to ground and center me. Being a highly sensitive empathic person is not easy in this current world, and connecting to nature is more important than ever for all of us.

    Reply  |  
  5. heather johnson

    I lost a very dear friend a brother almost to suicide a few years ago it is far from easy

    Reply  |  
    1. TWLOHA

      The grief and heartache that follow such a loss is incredibly difficult. We are truly sorry, Heather. If you need a safe space to share, you can email our team at [email protected]. If you’d like to explore professional support, is a good place to start.

      Reply  |  
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