I have always felt a connection with nature. When I was child I spent my days outside – climbing trees, peeling the paper off of the paper birch trees, splashing in the creek that runs through the backyard. Living on a wetland there was never a shortage of creature sightings – blue herons, beavers, muskrats, ducks. My parents still reside in the same house that I grew up in, and it is a joy to watch my own son experience these marvels for himself. He has a natural love for nature and is in his element when he is within it. There’s always something to climb, jump off of, and explore. His sense of adventure knows no bounds.
Recently I began to feel a little disconnected. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until one day it came to me – I had lost that deep connection to nature that I once had. I knew this had to be remedied. I began a little ritual where I spend just 10-15 minutes out on the back porch first thing in the morning to meditate. I repeat this again mid-day or in the evening. We are lucky to have some beautiful vine maples, evergreens, and a pine tree right outside our back porch. Just watching as the sun slowly washes over their branches while it rises is nothing short of spiritual, and watching the sparrows flit about from branch to branch and listening to them talk is entrancing.
Today D and I walked through my parents’ property, which we have done many times before. But this time I slowed down and took the time to explore like D does. I noticed things that I wouldn’t have normally noticed – a tree resembling the shape of an elephant, small pears growing on an old tree, and the tiny clusters of pine cones from the red alder trees.
I even reconnected with my favorite tree from my childhood – a giant black cottonwood tree. This tree stands like a powerful guardian keeping watch over the land. I remember lying in the grass watching the leaves dance and shimmer like silver dollars. Even today this tree fills me with a feeling of awe. I felt compelled to wrap my arms around its trunk and literally give it a hug.
Now that I feel like I have mended my relationship with nature, I want more than ever to help her in any way that I can. I’m on the lookout for volunteer opportunities and have pledged to be (even more) mindful about the choices I make that impact the Earth. By nurturing the planet we in turn are nurturing ourselves.