Nature Feeds My Soul
Nature feeds my soul.
I'm assuming it feeds your soul, too, or you would have stopped reading already.
It is summer here in the US and it stays light late into the evening. Right now, despite a somewhat cloudy sky, it is still quite light at 8:58 pm. The sky is blushing a dark pink between the leaves of the trees. I don't often get to see sunsets here in the woods, partly because the trees obscure the western sky and partly because my attention is usually turned elsewhere at this hour of the evening.
Based on the symphony of sounds I am hearing, there must be dozens, if not hundreds, of birds in the forest immediately surrounding my home. Not being an avid birder, I can't identify most of them. But I can still enjoy their impromptu jam session - the improvisational orchestration of at least a dozen different species.
Some carry the melody - probably the robins and orioles. Others are more percussive, like the drum of the woodpecker and the whistles and maraca-like sounds of others. The occasional sharp caw of the crows and the bass croaks coming from the frogs down by the creek merely add to the beauty of the rest. There is a soft undercurrent of the buzzing of bees.
I don't do this nearly often enough.
Why? All I need to do is step outside onto the deck for 5 minutes. Five minutes of focused listening is worth its weight in gold in restoring my soul: my equilibrium, my perspective, my connection to Spirit.
And this "focused listening" seems to heighten my other senses as well. I become aware of the slight, cooling breeze caressing my skin, and the vivid hot pink of the flush of roses on the climbing vines that mimics that in the sky. I am aware of the lush greeness of the forest and of the life that goes on there, day and night, without my noticing. The pale foxgloves at the edge of the forest are almost glowing - ghostlike sentinels in the fading light.
I've been out here about 10 minutes and already the chorus is starting to fade with the light. There are still a few dozen birds, but their calls are fewer and more far between. Soon night will fall. And soon I'll go back inside, back to the TV, the computer, the family and the chores to get ready for tomorrow.
But this evening, I've claimed my manna.