Nature is the real deal. The one thing in our life that is certain right now.
While the constructs of our daily living remain stuck on tumble dry, the ground we walk on remains still. While our future too often looks bleak, the sky above remains a colorful wonderland.
Nature is a constant, unwavering source of inspiration. Something we can count on to lift our spirits and depend on to lighten our mental load.
Nature is a great listener. Someone we can talk to who accepts our raw emotion for what it is and doesn’t have an agenda to push or cancel button to press in return.
Nature is a reminder that miracles happen every day. Something we can gaze upon in all its grand complexity and exquisite simplicity.
Because the treasure of all created things is at our constant disposal, I’ve been intentional about clinging to this precious gift during this quarantine. Nature has the ability to draw us out of our present reality, transporting us into a state of carefree timelessbliss (just made that word up)—even if just for a moment.
A few minutes of inner tranquility can be enough to carry us through the chaos, which is why I make a point to get outside every day even if it’s just to stand barefoot in the grass for five minutes. My husband and I try to take advantage of our gorgeous local parks as many evenings as possible. The crunch of dead branches and fallen leaves, candy-like aroma of new growth, and bedazzled views of angel-rays beaming through the canopy fills my empty. All is well with my soul when surrounded by such reward. This is church for me.
We’ve also made a point to wander off the beaten path in search of whatever finds us. I think our desire to explore is a way of embracing uncertainty that’s not as scary as the unknowns swirling around us in the constructed world. Going rogue is easier to do this time of year because new foliage is yet to be in full bloom. We can literally see the forest through the trees. A reminder for us not to focus too long on the things we can’t control in our life right now: the virus, what it really is, where it really came from, how the chaos is being handled, who is calling the shots, what tomorrow brings, etc., so we can imagine a better future. Dream up a new and comforting normal.
While the pandemic is suffocating and dire, nature is an infinite expression of God’s handiwork and creativity. Nothing feels scarce or restrained here. A sense of security and freedom surrounds you everywhere you look. God knows we can all use a giant dose of both.
“Look for the helpers,” is the sage advice of Fred Rogers. Helpers are everywhere in nature. Giant pines, babbling brooks, and Crayola sunsets provide the warm hugs and whispers of encouragement we all desperately crave and most definitely need right now.
These helpers constantly beckon for our attention. May we all do our best not to overlook their healing presence in our lives.