The Rhythms of the Earth
Last week, despite my harried schedule, I decided to take a short stroll along the beach near my home. As I walked beside the grass-covered sand dunes, I gazed out at the rolling waves crashing toward the shore. Breathing in the fresh sea-salt air, I felt my shoulders instantly relax. With sea gulls soaring through the cloudless blue sky, I ambled along the shoreline. Stepping over several patches of smooth wet stones, I looked further up the beach and noticed a large bleached-out log that rested near the dunes’ edges. Taking in the beauty all around me, I slowly lowered myself onto the sand and closed my eyes. Listening to the soothing rhythm of the waves, I felt a calm wash over me. I breathed deeply and let the calm fill my entire being. It felt as though I was connecting with the sea – like it was calling me and reminding me of my connection with Mother Earth. My soul stirred and I knew that spending time in nature was important for my overall well-being. It helped ground me and made me feel as though I was part of something vast – a large universe where everything was connected.
That afternoon, I made a commitment to spend at least a few moments every day outside in nature. I decided that whether I am gardening in my backyard or taking a hike through the woods, I want to connect with my beautiful surroundings. I love feeling the gentle breeze upon my face and hearing the chattering of chickadees in branches far above me. I sense my connection with all the plants and animals on this planet. They are a part of me, and I am a part of them. Even if I have to steal away these moments by taking a short walk in a small city park or having lunch on a rooftop deck, I know my body longs to connect with nature. It centers me unlike anything else.
Many of us don’t spend much time in nature. We have very busy lives working or volunteering for long hours, participating in various activities, completing household tasks, and running endless errands. Rushing to the next thing, we have little time to stop and eat, much less spend time outdoors. And our modern technology doesn’t help. Often, consumed with our electronic devices, we spend much more time indoors away from the earth. Yet, our connection with nature is an essential part of who we are. Nature provides the fresh air we breathe, the fragrant flowers we smell, and the gentle rain that gives life to plants and animals. And when they die, their matter returns to the earth and fertilizes the soil so that new life may grow once again.
The earth continually demonstrates the natural rhythms and cycles of life, a concept with which our ancestors were very familiar. They harvested crops from the earth to provide them with nourishment, and when they killed an animal, they utilized every part it – leaving nothing wasted. They took what they needed from nature and nothing more. Their survival depended on the earth, and they respected her greatly. They knew how important this connection was, and they honored nature’s cycles and rhythms. These cycles and rhythms continue today and having a connection with the earth is just as important as it has always been. When we watch a beautiful sunset or hear the wind rush through the trees, we are reminded of the beauty that surrounds us every day. Nature helps us feel grounded and centered. We are reminded of where we came from and where we will one day return. It truly is the cycle of life.
This week, find time to connect with nature. Take a walk in the woods enjoying the stunning fall colors or plant bulbs in the fresh dirt of your garden. Breathe in the aroma of the damp earth and feel the sun’s warmth upon your cheeks. Do you feel a connection with nature? Does it center you and make you feel truly alive? The beauty of Mother Earth is all around us. Touch the smooth blades of grass with your fingertips, listen to the bubbling brook, or see the brilliant stars in the nighttime sky. Feel present in these moments and see whether nature stirs something within you. Believe that you are part of something vast – a universe that is all connected. Listen to its rhythms and feel your soul stir with joy.