God is in all and through all. In Him we live and move and have our being. This means we actually walk with God every minute of every day of our lives. Most of the time we are not even consciously aware of the presence that is never an absence.
But those times when we focus on the present moment and really tune in, those are special indeed. This often happens for me on my morning walks. Three days a week I have a walking buddy and we really clip it off chattering all the way. But on the other days I really slow it down and connect.
One cool fall morning I went down to the water hoping to sit on the dock, but someone was practicing Tai Chi so I sat down beside the water to meditate. Sitting on the ground is something we need to do from time to time to connect to the earth. I closed my eyes and did a grounding mediation. Then I just sat and listened to the water, and the cars driving on the main road, feeling the cool, gentle breeze.
Next I thanked our Mother earth for supporting us and sustaining us and apologized for the many times we do not do the same for her. Finally I focused on the wind blowing through my hair and thanked Spirit, the giver of life for the energy flowing through my body and my breath.
When I had finished I found myself drawn to the swings on the children’s playground and spent a little time flying through the air. Finally I continued on my walk. Toward the end I stopped to talk to my friend Marge who swept me away on her golf cart to show me the two persimmon trees on the grounds. We picked up persimmons and ate a few talking about my grandma’s persimmon pudding. I promised Marge if I could collect enough I would make some persimmon pudding and share it with her.
You see when we spend time in conscious awareness of our connection to God we also become more aware of our connection to the earth and to our fellow travelers through this life. How much easier and more peaceful our lives would be if we would only remember we walk with God all the time, we just need to stop and tune in.
With the Autumnal Equinox on September 22nd the journey toward winter began. For many this is a time of planning and preparation, making sure homes and vehicles are ready for the impending cold. Squirrels are busily burying nuts so they will have food for winter. Our daily lives begin to change as we dig out the winter clothes and soup recipes. This flurry of activity is in preparation to settle in and hunker down as the weather gets colder and colder.
As the earth prepares to slow down, this is our chance to slow down as well. With the cooler weather we can now begin cooking meals requiring lengthy times in the oven. The smell of fresh baked bread may begin to fill the kitchen. We are more inclined to settle in with a good book and a piping hot beverage.
This year especially, I hope we will heed the lessons of Autumn. Mother Earth has much to teach us if we will only slow down and take the time to listen.
“You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
In the creation story in Genesis God shapes human bodies from the dust of the earth and breathes life into them. Literally or figuratively, doesn’t this tell us that God is our Father the earth is our Mother?
Over the years I have found myself becoming more in tune with the rhythm of the seasons. The call of autumn to prepare for winter is becoming increasingly strong. Winter is my most creative time. When the weather drives me indoors the inspiration for writing and creating art becomes very strong.
We must pay attention to these things. We are meant to live in harmony with the earth, not control it, use it for our personal gain and then discard it. If we destroy the earth we also destroy ourselves.
Our mother earth speaks to us. It’s up to us to listen.