This past weekend I was reminded about the benefits of communing with nature. I was in Muir Woods, just north of San Francisco. It was a holiday weekend and the park was filled with other nature lovers, but as I walked along the dirt path, I feel into silence. I looked around at the giant redwoods, a thousand or more years old. I noticed the furry bark, the gnarled swells along the trunk, the bright green moss covering the roots of a long dead tree. It was at that moment that I felt compelled to step closer and touch that beautiful living thing. I stood there for about a minute, breathing slowly, imaging the cells of the tree growing beneath my fingers. I continued along the trail, listening to the breeze rustling the leaves and the chatter of people close by. I found myself speeding my steps, searching for the solitude and quiet. In the silence there was such peace.
This morning I had another opportunity to commune with nature. I woke up to gray skies, a rare sight in sunny Southern California. I donned my raincoat and headed out for a walk. The skies were misting and I uncovered my head, feeling the moistness against my face, picturing my skin drinking in the rain. I began to remember my childhood on rainy days, taking walks in the warm summer rain, getting soaked, then washing my hair in the downpour before getting ready for bed. As I continued my walk, I became aware of the smell of eucalyptus and pine. I saw beads of water sitting on the leaves of bird of paradise plants and imagined all the plants drinking in the precious gift of rain, just as my skin was doing.
In this fast paced world, we are so rushed to get from point A to point B, that we don’t often notice the wonders of life. So let this be a reminder. There is peace in nature. All you have to do is notice.