Nature and its role in Spirituality

Life is bloody busy. I myself frequently lament the dearth of sufficient hours in a day to not only do my job and earn a living, but to commit time to my artwork, my writing and (the one that most often gets lost) nature.

Yes, I mean exactly that. I need to dedicate more time to nature. But what precisely does “dedicate time to nature” mean, anyway? Is it simply a walk in the park?   Picking up litter along the riverbank? A ride on the bicycle trail?

Absolutely. Any of those. ALL of them. Heck, just to go out and climb a tree!

We are, all of us, connected. To one another, to God, and, inescapably, to nature. This world lives and breathes just like we do, and its rhythms are as much a part of us as our own limbs. Renewing and strengthening that connection is essential to our journey, no matter how we do so. Some hike and camp out, sleeping directly on the earth and under the sky.   Some bicycle under the canopy of overhanging trees on beautiful bike paths (we have some of the nation’s best here in Cincinnati), some volunteer to clean and maintain their local environment.   Still others hunt, taking sustenance from the land and offering themselves to it. Myself, I LOVE to wander the dawn landscapes with my camera, snapping away as my feet get soaked in the dew and the wildlife reacts to my gentle invasion. And yes, I occasionally climb a tree. The 9-yr-old Tarzan wannabe is still alive and well inside me.

Many city-folk may scoff at this concept, but even they need nature. The simple feel of grass under your feet can be so cathartic, releasing the stress of life’s unceasing demands through the soles of your feet into the waiting earth, or even simply sitting on a shaded bench with your coffee and a bagel.

Reconnecting. Rejuvenating. Returning.

Rejoicing.

So, if you haven’t done so recently, I invite you to step outside today, slip your shoes off if you can, and just wiggle your toes in the grass. Never mind the little ant scurrying across your toes; he’s not here for you. Just breathe in a moment of clean, pure nature and feel it renew you.   Perceive the balance returning to life.

Me? I’m going for a walk this evening, whether I “have time for it” or not. I need to recharge.

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