Friday, August 16, 2019

Reacquainting Myself With Wonder & Deep, Deep Gratitude



Ah, yes,
it is still in me to wonder
at the sound of wind through ferns,
a great symphony, a song,
not much different than grace.
Hear it play notes, like words.
Hear it say, 
             love, love,
like this perfect day, perfect moment
to see our world alive, and singing.

I know some of you have experienced extreme, record-breaking heat this summer, but here in the great NW, we have had one of our loveliest summers, and our forests have had a reprieve from the ravages of fire, thanks to sporadic rainfall.  I've seen more life in our mountains than ever before.  More pine-cones.  More morel mushrooms. More flowers.  More huckleberries.


My husband and I love to ride horses AND we also love to hike together.  Picking huckleberries along our path is an extra bonus.  And what's better, we get to share them with family and friends.  But being out in nature...oh my, what a gift.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Henry David Thoreau
I remember reading that in college when I was 19, taking a class called "Wilderness Studies."  It was probably the most life-changing quote for me.  It has inspired many uncharted paths because I did not want to live with regrets, or find that "I had not lived." 


the sound of wind through ferns is not much different than grace.

That's what I feel when I'm out in nature--either trail riding or hiking. My dad used to look out over it all and say he saw God there.  I look out at it all and see grace.



Grace
a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification
We went to see Les Miserable last week, for the upteenth time, and I cried and cried, yet again.  I especially wept at the last scene where Jean Valjean dies.  It's that last song where he's called home.  That's how I feel when I look at the beauty of the world.  My heart swells with gratitude and the feeling of that divine element of grace for all creation.  And, a oneness with it all.

I'm not a religious person, but last winter I told a dear friend of mine, a devout Catholic, that I would like to have a rosary of  my own.  I've often searched for one in my travels, but oddly, never found one I wanted to buy. Two days later, being the wonderful person that she is, ....I had my rosary.  Handmade, by her.


Last week I thanked her again and told her that I use it everyday, and give thanks for something at every bead.  That made her happy, and she heartily approved.  I do this before my yoga, and it has become my favorite part of the day.  I can't wait to pick up those beads and start giving thanks!

Ah, yes,
it is still in me to wonder
at the sound of wind through ferns,...

Running a busy clinic had really taken a toll on my spirit.  Dealing with insurance companies and payments and difficult people--it was making it harder to feel that sense of awe.  I was starting to believe it was gone forever--just another casualty of aging.  Cynicism. But no, it wasn't gone, it was just latent and malnourished.

There is a whole lot in this world to be in awe about.










10 comments:

  1. Pretty much every day I walk Guinness through our small forest. And every time I feel the air, light and stillness wash over me and taking away the stress and petty things of the day. What the woods don’t take away is completed by the rhythms of doing the barn chores.

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    1. You’re very wise to carve out time everyday for a walk in the woods. What a great way to nourish yourself.

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  2. Grace is a gift from God, it's not something we can acquire on our own- so even though you say you are not a religious person, in your own way, you are. Religion is all about acknowledging the presence of God and being open to His love and guidance in your life.
    That is a beautiful Rosary.
    Nature has always been my solace, my healer and my escape from the drudgery of life. I am blessed to live where I can lift my eyes up to the mountains and have trees and paths at my door- and a good horse to ride (I can't walk far any more).

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    1. Point well taken, and by your definition, I am most certainly religious. It is a bit of semantics, I guess. I mean to say, I'm not religious in the sense that I attend a specific church. I'm like the prodigal daughter in the barn and in nature--and that is where I feel at home with God.

      Yes, you live in a beautiful spot. I can attest to that! Skimmerhorn mountains. I'll never forget them.



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  3. You've got some beautiful places to hike and get back to nature. I'm not religious at all. Eight years of Catholic school will do that to you. I figure I'd rather enjoy being out in nature than sitting in a church listening to some priest drone on and on. What could be better than a ride in the country on a wonderful horse to fill your soul with happiness and peace.

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    1. We are lucky up here in the NW. I just got back from a ride at nature / wildlife preserve, and it was glorious. Got to watch a golden eagle battle it out with some smaller birds and ducks, and blue heron flying away from the ruckus. Just being out there restores my soul.

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  4. Love that you are feeling inspired, in awe and nourished by the beauty of nature! It is where I also feel spiritual, not in brick & mortar. Altho I am grateful to live surrounded by natures beauty, I miss exploring new/different places. Once our weather improves, I plan to start walking our property again. Nice rosary, your very own type of Mala Beads!

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    1. Funny, I had never heard of Mala beads. Where have I been? But you inspired me to ask my mom to make me one. More on that soon. 👍

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  5. I love your thankfulness routine. Grattitude is underrated. I've been journaling three to seven things I am thankful for every day for a few weeks. I've started seeing little things throughout the day to write down late.

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    1. I think Gratitude is the greatest natural drug. It combats all those negative voices in our head. Life, I’m certain, thrives with hope. Gratitude is the seed of hope. My husband counsels his patients to really practice gratitude until it becomes an ingrained habit. If you practice the glass half full, he swears you will become a glass half full person. Maybe a glass FULL person. 😂

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