So far this autumn we have had quite a few magnificent blue-sky days. The kind of days that beckon us to come out into nature and to be a participant, to witness, to be part of the changing seasons. Even just a twenty minute stroll through a nearby nature place – it could be your backyard or Central Park – will make a difference. “A difference in what?”, you may ask. For me, it’s a difference in my general state of being, mood, sense of self, balance, and most of all, an increase in the level of connection I feel – connection to the greater world, to others, and to something more timeless than myself.
This fall has provided more reasons than beautiful days and our hectic lives as reasons to get out-of-doors,. The political climate in this country is one of tension, anger, fear. There are wars, fighting, displaced persons around the world. Global warming reveals itself again through weather extremes.
Yikes, enough already. Let’s go out! I know for myself that the day after each ‘debate’ I need at least a 3-hour hike along the trails in Harriman Park.
In the last two years I have discovered the wonderful poetry and writing of William Stafford. His paragraph below describes to me what can and does happen to us when we are out in nature. May you, too, find your own moments of grace. Go quietly, go slowly, but bottom line, go.
If Only for a Moment, by William Stafford
Each of us is blessed with moments of grace, moments when our soul becomes clear and quiet. Our worrying stops. Our yearning and planning and waiting for fulfillment stops. There is nothing to be done since everything is already happening. Grace uncovers the mysterious essence that unites us with all beings. Through its gift, the place, the time, the sky, and ourselves are revealed in right relation. What is inside of us and what is outside of us comes together, if only for a moment.