The tug of the tides, the cozy feeling from a log fire on a cold night, the restful sound of a burbling creek, the adrenalin rush of a mighty river roar; we humans have a deep connection to the natural world if we allow ourselves the quiet moments to connect on a very basic level. Certainly many of us enjoy some or all of those things from time to time, but are we not also doing something else at the same time, taking a photo of the spectacular waterfall, watching television in front of the fire, chatting on the phone as we walk along the beach?
Taking the time to be fully present within the natural world requires a slowing down of the senses, to breathe more slowly and deeply, to shut off the urge to capture or comment. Turning up the volume on our hearing to catch the nuances of the wildlife skittering out of sight, noticing the salty damp on our skin, touching the reeds and rocks of the stream at our feet, we tune in to the world with our full presence.
Why does this matter? At some level in the very core of our being Mother Nature’s umbilical cord ties us to this rock sailing around the sun. To dismiss that, to ignore the truth in that, is to deny an essential, elemental part of our being. Celebrating our spiritual selves allows us to soar into the heavens, celebrating our natural selves allows us to feel the connection that is our bodily, earthly personae. Being firmly rooted to the earth creates a sense of belonging, awareness of our role as one of the many intertwined elements of this place. And from that, a sense of contentment, a key to our ongoing happiness, that extends and spreads so far beyond the highs and rush of elation.
Today, we can give ourselves the gift of contentment through connection to the natural world.