As I write to you, I’m sitting outside in our pocket of the city, listening to birds begin their chirping and watching the sunlight begin to brighten the sky. Though we live in an industrial city, I’m grateful for the pocket of nature we’ve created for ourselves. It’s never far from my mind that this land was once a forest populated by First Peoples who lived in greater harmony with the land. Though I live in this now-industrial city in a capitalistic society, nature is still here. Nature comes from God. Following the breath of nature puts us in touch with the heart of God.
Growing up, I did not know how out of touch I was with nature until I learned how to be in touch with it. My stepdad in particular taught me so much about being in touch with trees and all things growing, and how to have a true respect for the land. He taught me about the four directions, plants to eat and use, how to plant seeds with care and love, and how to care for and be in touch with the earth. Until that time I had such a profound disconnection from nature that mirrored my disconnection from myself and my heart.
Environmental news these days can be devastating, but it is not the end. We are still here. We still have a chance each day to connect and care for nature. If you live in a city, is there are park nearby? Can you visit public lands? Plant beautiful houseplants? I find the most effective connection I make to nature is when I care for the small land around me by gardening and looking after the birds that make their homes in the trees around us. Let nature guide you by spending time in whatever natural habitat you can get to. You will feel your heart open and your breath slow. Nature comes from God. Nature heals.