A Touch of Nature for Heaven’s Sake

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Gratitude of the day: Wisps of spring breeze giving me a gift of refreshment as they breathe on my hot, sweating neck while I walk and taste spring in the air, hear it in bird chatter, and touch and smell it in my renewed rosemary bush.

All little children wail at the door wanting to go ‘out-tide.’  Their native intelligence might be just what we need to pay attention to when we are busy doing something else…indoors.  They just come alive outdoors, finding a trail of ants, a stick, an acorn.  Even babies may stop fretful crying when taken outdoors.  Mostly kids just piddle about when outside.  I don’t know about you, but I could use some piddling time away from a very cerebral, idea-centered life, which I love. But time outdoors works some kind of magic in me when I give myself permission to just be, one creature among many others. 

Certainly there is simple benefit in getting vitamin D from the sunlight. But there is a child in all of us that craves nature, needs contact with nature, perhaps more now than ever in the centuries gone by.  Our lives are mostly spent inside walls, I guess, unless you live on a farm or get out to do gardening.

I’m just barely getting into the wonders of gardening, glad to be pulled outdoors. Somehow my husband persuaded us girls to come out and trim winter deadness from bushes and flowers while he mowed and trimmed too.  It was a rare and sweet companionship, clipping away to shape up the greenery here and there.  A renewed appreciation rose up in our hearts for what’s going right in our wild gardens of weeds generously sprinkled among Artemisia, roses, crepe myrtles, rosemary, Mexican heather, and other wonders.

There really are special expressions of the presence of God in nature.  St. Francis had an uncommon connection with nature, and treated the animals as respectfully and tenderly as he treated the humans.  There are many stories of nature connections to the Celtic saints of old, such as a seal covering the bare feet of a praying monk on a cold night’s vigil.  We visited Lindisfarne Island in 2002 and were delighted to stand on a cliff to hear about such stories from a young man giving us an enthusiastic tour while very nearby in the ocean an old grandfather seal with gray, long whiskers looked up at us like he was part of the conversation, waves swaying around him, but he stuck close by ‘listening.’

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Big or little, we all need a touch of nature, for heaven’s sake.

No need to drive some long distance to the country although if you have time to do so, it would do your body and soul good.  Meanwhile, just step outside for a few minutes.  Nature is there waiting to bestow a gift.  Let a sunset enchant you with its colors, a butterfly’s serene sailing send you a little peace, or…just go find your own adventure!

 

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