“At a certain point you say to the woods, to the sea,
to the mountains, the world, Now I am ready.
Now I will stop and be wholly attentive.
You empty yourself and wait, listening.”
by Annie Dillard
from Teaching a Stone to Talk
If a stone could talk, what would it say?
When was the last time you walked by a lake or in the woods,
climbed a mountain (or a hill), waded in a stream,
sat beside a tree?
Contemplated by a river?
Nature is sensual. So are we. Nature communicates to us in many ways. One obvious way is through the senses. We taste the cold shock of water from a mountain spring. We touch the rough bark of an old tree. We are soothed by the melange of nature’s colors when viewing a landscape. We hear bubbling springs and wind through trees. We smell fresh air and heady spring blossoms.
Living in the mountains for nearly twenty years now, I have been impressed and imprinted with the natural world that daily surrounds me. Though the view from my kitchen window is the same, it is always different. The alternating seasons reference change.
I lived in a big city by the ocean for most of my life. Like the mountains, the ocean is a strong presence. I was, sometimes without realizing it, in daily conversation with the sea. I took my troubles to the ocean, sat in the sand dunes or clambered over ice plant and down to the beach below. Every sense was piqued. And I always felt received and replenished in some way.
What about you? Take yourself to a nature spot. Bring your journal and a pen. Spend some time there. Sit on a boulder or beside a stream.Ask your questions. Voice your complaints. Get quiet and listen…what is nature communicating to you today?