Feeling connected to the natural world connects us to the rhythms of life. Get away! Any way you can. Walk, drive, take a train or hop on a bus to a peaceful place where you can enjoy the beauty of nature. In the winter, I go skiing with my husband, and while I'm not that anxious to navigate my way down some steep and winding slopes, I love taking the ski lift up to the majestic mountaintop. I am awed when I behold the magnificence that God has created all around us. God's glory is everywhere: in a field of weeds and wildflowers; in the stillness of the woods with the trees arching over us; in a crystal lake lapping softly at the shore; in the rustling of leaves, the scamper of little animals.
If you can't escape to the country, you can still sit at your window and watch the sky. You can watch the rain and the snow. You can visit a nearby park and watch the foliage change with each season. You can turn your face toward the warmth of the sun or feel a gentle breeze whisper against your skin. You can wonder at the changing patterns of light in a summer sky, and feel the brisk tingle of snowflakes in a winter storm. Revel in the knowledge that your senses are finely attuned to these sensations of the natural world. By staying in tune with nature, you nourish the eternal spirit within, you come back to the center of life and to the awareness that God is everywhere present at each moment in time.
Our beloved poet and sage Maya Angelou believes that every few weeks we should take a day off to do absolutely nothing. "What we really have to do is take a day and sit down and think," she shared in a recent interview. "The world is not going to end or fall apart. Jobs won't be lost. Kids will not run crazy in one day. Lovers won't stop speaking to you. Husbands and wives are not going to disappear. Just take that one day and think. Don't read. Don't write. No television, no radio, no distractions. Sit down and think. . . . Go sit in a church, or in the park, or take a long walk and think. Call it a healing day."
How wise Maya Angelou is. A healing day, a day just to sit and think, a day in which you become still and experience each precious moment of time. By learning to stay centered in the moment, we put ourselves in charge. We experience the joy of living, the wonder in each breath. If we take control of the world within ourselves, no circumstance outside us will have its way with us. When we live moment to moment, we place ourselves at the center of life, where infinite wisdom abides, rather than on the periphery, where things are forever changing and we are susceptible to the vagaries of the world. It is in our awareness each moment of our oneness with God that our inner peace and greatest strength lie.