February 2


Today's Quotation:

Nature is another important aspect of nourishing the soul.  After a hike in the mountains where we live, for instance, I feel a remarkable sense of gratitude and awe.  My mind quiets down and allows me to see more clearly the beauty of creation.  And through that gratitude, the beauty of the universe is reflected back to the creator.

Joan Borysenko

Today's Meditation:

There's nothing like a walk in the forest to clear my mind and get my spirit to calm down and slow down.  Any time I get away from the mass of people and find a quiet, solitary spot in nature, be it in the middle of the desert, in the forest, on a beach, or even along a lonely country road, I feel myself being refreshed, revived, renewed.  It's a wonderful feeling that I don't search out nearly enough.

In cities we keep flowers and plants to remind us of this connection, but we far too rarely seem to search out the closeness of the connection--we don't often actually go out and feel what nature has to offer.  I know that over the last few years, with all the work that I've had hanging over my head, my connection with nature has been tenuous at best, non-existent at worst.  I go for walks, but I do so in town.  We have a great bike path that I walk along very often.  It goes through forest and next to a river for a couple of miles, but that's been the extent of my connection with nature for a while.  I miss it.

Sometimes I don't go out into the woods because I have too much to do for the next two hours.  Then I spend the next two hours doing something that I hadn't planned on doing, and I realize that I could have gone out after all.  Usually, I needed to go out, yet I didn't look after myself closely enough, and I didn't take care of myself by giving myself the time I needed to renew myself.  It's kind of sad, but it's true.

When I'm out in nature, just as Joan Borysenko I feel a stronger sense of gratitude and awe, and I see more clearly just how beautiful this world is.  I need that feeling every once in a while if I'm to keep a clear perspective in my daily life on just what is truly important and just what isn't.  We nourish our souls when we get in touch with nature, and our souls are the part of ourselves that we so often neglect.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What do you do regularly to nourish your soul or spirit?  What kinds of things does your soul like as nourishment?

2.  How does nature help us to get in touch with deeper parts of ourselves?

3.  What happens when we neglect to nourish our spirits?

For further thought:

I find nature so nourishing.  I love to hike, especially in the mountains.  When I'm walking in nature, I feel in awe of the wonder of creation.  Nature is full of surprises, always changing, and we must change with it.  In nature, the soul is renewed and called to open and grow.  In the wilderness, you're up against whatever nature brings you--the dangers as well as the beauty.

Linda Leonard

more thoughts and ideas on nature



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