Okay, so a while ago, I said I was going to write a post on how nature makes me feel. I've been lax, but here it is, as promised.
My dear good friend and I went to one of the state parks a few weeks ago. It's tradition for us to go hike for a while, and then go to Applebee's for margaritas and lunch or dinner. "Dan" picked me up about 7:00 a.m. the morning we went out, and we drove to the park. We figured out which trails we wanted to hike and we set out. It was a beautiful day. The sky was blue, there was just enough of a breeze, and we were the only ones there when we first arrived. While we were walking, we got to be the ones to break down the spiderwebs the arachnids had sewn during the night across the paths. We took the canyon trails mostly this day, instead of the bluff trails, and we got to see some waterfalls. Granted, they weren't large waterfalls, due to the fact that it hasn't been really wet around here, but they were waterfalls, nonetheless, and beautiful even in their fragility. Dan and I traversed through some shallow pools of water and walked through the falls to get to the other side where we could get a better view. The water was cold because the ground wasn't yet warmed completely from the winter.
Dan and I see so much beauty when we go there. We also have some good conversation and catch up on each others' lives. He even asks me about this ministry stuff that I'm getting into, which means a lot to me because he is unchurched. We talk about our dreams and aspirations, what we've been about and how that has changed us. It's like the simplicity of the woods takes away any and all pretenses we have in conversation with each other. But, Dan and I have been friends for several years, and so maybe the woods have nothing to do with it. The fact is that we connect with each other, and we connect with Creation. I connect in thanksgiving for what we've been privileged to share in, and he connects in his own way, which I will not speculate on, considering it is not my place.
Being out there, walking through forests and canyons, looking out from bluffs onto the river, and seeing everything makes me so amazingly grateful for life. I'm so glad for the pause I experience when I'm there. I don't live in a big city, but my town is still quite different from being separated by forest and river. Walking through the crisp morning air, breathing in the freshness of it all, and feeling the water and leaves all remind me that God is here among us. God created this, and this park has been home to many different people through the years. It reminds me of Communion. During the Supper, we are connected by Christ's body and blood. While sharing in the wonder of nature, we are sharing in God's goodness through the gift of respite and relaxation. Genesis 1:31-God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thanks be to God for all the ways we are connected, and may we always remember our bonds.