“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,-no disgrace, no calamity-…Standing on the bare ground,-my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space,-all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or particle of God.” – Emerson, Nature
Emerson and Thoreau are my all-time favorites, and I got hooked on the Transcendental movement in college (thank you, Prof. Smith). Sometimes, now and then, I break out my college texts for some light academic reading because I’m a dork like that.
As I was walking the dogs on this gorgeous, blue sky, sunny October Sunday, I caught myself looking up into the changing leaves and breathing in everything around me. I may not be good at living in the moment emotionally, but when it comes to observing nature and my senses, I’ve got it down pat. Whenever I’m in nature, whether it be on the ocean or in the woods, all of my senses become alertly aware. I can see, smell, taste, feel, and hear. This, in large part, is what aided my initial belief that a higher power exists. Just as Emerson says, “I am nothing; I see all…I am part or particle of God.”
The other realization I had today is that whenever I am in nature or near the water, “all mean egotism vanishes,” I am restored to faith and reason, and I truly feel that “nothing can befall me in life,-no digrace, no calamity.” This is because when I am in nature, I am outside not just of my house or my car, but outside of myself. I am a small part of something much larger than myself and I realize that I have very little control in this life, and what a relief that is! I become humbled and grateful for the breaths that I can take and for another day of life that my higher power has given me. When I realize that I am just a small part of the larger whole, my problems don’t seem so all-consuming anymore. Reason and faith shine through the darkness clouding my mind.
Even if you live in the cement jungle, just look straight up into the sky and take a deep breath. Nature is all around us – sometimes we just forget to see it.