Silence And Solitude Are Good For The Soul
Jerry DeBoer talks about the inner peace that comes from nature.
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I confess that I do not keep track of the phases of the moon. As far as I know, there is no werewolf blood in my family and I cannot recall any strange event ever having take place that could be in any way related to the moon phases.
So this past week while enjoying time in the northwoods, it was somewhat of a surprise when I stepped outside into the night and found myself beneath a blanket of indescribably beautiful and oh so humbling stars, wonderfully framed by the hemlocks and maples. I sat mesmerized at the multitudes upon multitudes of points and clusters of light.
At this point I wish I could better find the words that describe the soul transformation that occurs when your breathing begins to heal you instead of just fill your lungs with air. When your hearing tunes in to the vast quiet of solitude and in hearing nothing, you hear so much more. When vision goes beyond just seeing. When senses long buried under mounds of bills, job stress, politics, life and technology reawaken.
How is it that nature has a way of making us feel so insignificant yet so significant?
I saw a light flicker and my first thought is that I caught a sparkle of a bright star through the bows of the hemlock. Then I saw more lights flickering and moving and I realized the fireflies were out. One after the other glowed and for a time I stood engrossed by the nocturnal dance of this fascinating creature as patterns of light emanated from the darkness.
As I contrast the simplicity of nature against the celebrations we rightfully enjoyed on Independence Day, it seems that the words bigger, longer, higher, brighter, louder were all used in abundance to describe the celebrations we participated in. Yet last week I stood in quiet nocturnal solitude with a blanket of stars above and the magic of the firefly dance surrounding me and my senses could not have felt more alive. Nature has a way of doing that.
In remembering our freedoms, let us never forget our responsibilities that we must act as stewards of the earth’s resources, not the owners. May America forever cheer the parades and fireworks as we celebrate the birth of the greatest country in the world and at the same time, may we never become so disconnected from nature that we forget its ability to heal us.
Perhaps to use the words of John Muir, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”