February 21

Reflection

Sometimes suddenly in the midst of people we feel a sense of incredible aloneness. Yet, in the solitude of nature there is comes a sense of peace and connection. It can be as simple as working in a garden, walking on the beach, or strolling through a wooded park. There comes a feeling that we are not alone. We may take a moment to listen to the birds or pet a friendly dog. The experience of response and the sense of wellbeing we feel is primal. For a moment we know that we are of the earth, that all is alive and all is responsive.  We realize that the nature of beings is to respond to one another, to share life, to feel affection. The artificial barriers we have set up to communication are of our own doing. Earth is alive and all its life is in relationship. If only we could always  be open to these revelations of our true nature and our kinship with other forms of life! It is a communion that we will never receive from our computers or iPads.

Prayer

Let praises be celebrated not only with instruments of music, but let all living beings unite in that praise; let a breathing universe combine in one solemn service of praise.
Psalm 150:6

Action

Give yourself the opportunity to go somewhere where it is possible for you to open your mind, eyes and ears to the living earth around you.

Suggested Reading

Be it in the woods, on the beach, in the desert, down by the swamps, in the mountains, or on your city apartment steps, the comfort that arises  outside comes from being in the presence of cumulative intelligences of different species that are much older and wiser than we are. Conceivably, we are urged to learn from nature. It is possible that when Jesus asked us to “Consider the lilies of the field” he meant don’t worry about earthly details, but he also literally meant what he said, ”Consider the lilies.”
F. Lynne Bachleda

People say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me, walking peacefully on the earth is the real miracle.
Thich Nhat Hann

All of my life has been a relearning to pray—a letting go of the incantational magic, petition, and the vain repetition “Me, Lord, me.” Instead watching attentively for the light that burns at the center of every star, every cell, every living creature, every human heart,
Chet Raymo

We have no inner spiritual development without outer experience. Immediately, when we see or experience any natural phenomenon, when we see a flower, a butterfly, a tree, when we feel the evening breeze flow over us or wade in a stream of clear water, our natural response is immediate, intuitive, transforming ecstatic. Everywhere we find ourselves invaded by the world of the sacred.
Thomas Berry

Nature’s intent is neither food, nor drink, nor clothing, nor comfort, nor anything else in which God is left out. Whether you like it or not, whether  you know it or not, nature seeks, hunts, tries to ferret out the track on which God may be found.
Meister Eckhart

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language.
Martin Buber

Lots of people talk to animals…. Not very many listen, though…. That’s the problem.
Benjamin Hoff

Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.
John Muir

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