Listening to the Voice of Nature

Inspiration for this post came when a rather large blue heron flew by my window and landed on my neighbor’s roof as I was eating breakfast yesterday (about 30 feet away). Heron had made an appearance at our lake everyday while we were hosting our good friends from Hawai’i the week prior. Because of his frequent visits during their stay, I assumed his message (i.e. his medicine as Native Americans would say), was largely intended for our guests.  Since I apparently was not attuned to the medicine he had for me, he resorted to some rather strange behavior- acting as if he was inspecting my neighbor’s roof while my four year old and I curiously watched from the window.

Since early childhood, one of my favorite pastimes has been to sit in nature and simply observe life.  I can remember countless days sitting on the highest hill of our family farm and watching creatures in every direction.  Many a day I waded in the creek looking for snakes or hoping for a single turtle to cross my path.  Not being much of a morning person, I’ve watched more sunsets than sunrises over the years but always in complete awe and joy.  I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I experienced my first rainbow… and every rainbow since for that matter.

Over the years I’ve certainly grown and evolved, but one thing about me has never changed.  I can still waste the day away in the great outdoors- on the beach, up a mountain, or in my own backyard just watching, listening, and connecting.  Nothing can ruin my perfectly good intentions of making a nice home-cooked meal more than a bald eagle suddenly landing in a tree down by the lake at 3:30pm.  I come in three hours later with binoculars in hand and… can you say hungry children and TAKE OUT!

Hardly a day goes by when I don’t at least think of my good friend Mother Nature and her pure and powerful Voice.  What I love about her is that she she speaks without ego. Mother Nature’s messengers don’t have an agenda, and there is no dogma imbedded in the message.  Patiently, Mother Nature continues to speak to us whether or not we are choosing to listen.  Without exception, she is in constant motion- a beautifully and sometimes tragically choreographed dance of creation and destruction.  Like any good parent, she reminds us that there are consequences for our actions….something indigenous people have understood since the beginning of time and modern civilization is slowly remembering.

Throughout my life I have relied on Mother Nature to be my greatest teacher, offering honest guidance and wise counsel each and every day.  I know she will not lie to me and say that anything in life is certain or permanent or impossible, when even the massive na pali (cliffs) of the Ko’olau mountains are worn down by wind and rain over time.  I imagine that Mother Nature also doesn’t send a dragonfly to land on my left shoulder during a midday walk for two days in a row and expect me not to ponder the meaning.  One look into those bug eyes, and I knew that red beauty had stopped fluttering long enough to whisper a message intended just for me.  Likewise, a majestic blue heron doesn’t drop in over my morning coffee for nothing.

Whether you live in a concrete jungle or off the grid somewhere, we can all reflect on and connect with nature.  There is not a place where sky does not exist overhead or the earth below, even if seemingly obstructed by smog or layers of concrete.  Daily, we dwell in between the two realms.  We can chose to simply exist among it, be a steward of if all, invite Nature to be our teacher, faithful friend and mentor, or even more….

We can embrace the possibility that there is really no separation between ourselves and this dynamically sacred flow of energy we often call Mother Nature.

Categories: Nature Speaks

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