Monday, October 14, 2013

Nature is...

God is...

I attended a Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Spiritual World of Nature program this past week where we were invited to briefly share what nature means to us.  I said, “Nature is where God talks and I listen.”  After speaking those words I began to appreciate again the gifts accompanying the suffering that led me into the natural world where I found a unique solace and answers to many of life’s toughest questions. I am grateful for having recorded the comfort and insights I experienced in my memoir “God Never Hurries.”  Now I can remember and relive them, and share with others.

Nature is—where the morning sun beamed through the trees and whispered, “Be not afraid;” where I came to know a caring Presence to whom I belong; it is celebrating freedom at dusk that was like a trip to the moon on gossamer wings; it is a magnificent, warm, soul soaking rain; it is a huge oak tree where I sometimes took my troubles and always parted with a sense of communion and strength; it is a blue moonlit snow drift where I played with my late son Joe and dog Lydia; it is a bright, fall, moonlit night that called me outside to write one night; it is the smell of wood smoke in my sweatshirt and the rustle of dry leaves in dark trees above that gave me respite from my troubles; it is a curious deer that encouraged my curiosity and later another deer that showed me all is Eucharist; it is tall gray herons wading in a thick gray blanket of fog that let me sense the seamlessness of the world’s soul; it is a sunlit fog that showed the church of my birth in a rusting old car buried upside down on the beach; it is water running under a milky cascade of ice on the bluff that sounded like a happy, vibrant church where everyone has a voice; and peddling my bike past a swamp, where I heard frogs talking, I was reminded to talk more and share myself with others.  I could go on and on but I think you can understand why I listen when God talks.    

A common theme from others who shared what nature meant for them at last week’s program was a sense of balance and centering.  And then our competent instructor led us to see how the interdependency of diverse natural communities is the source of their strength and order. 

We too are a part of the natural world.  Could valuing the interdependency of our diverse human communities lead us to strength and order?  What if we all prayed toward that end?         

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