Awake in the World

The US national parks were born from a recognized need to preserve nature. Stephen Mather, one of the men who advocated for creation of national parks, had suffered from several nervous breakdowns. He found that quiet time in nature restored and healed him in a way that nothing else could. So often we are disconnected from nature. We remain in controlled indoor climates, completely removed from what’s going on in the natural world around us. We don’t know how tomatoes or the rest of our food grows or recognize the impact of our consuming ways on Mother Nature.

But there is a deep fascination and love for nature. The popularity of the webcams that tracked the lives of eagles nesting around the country became an obsession for many people. Observing and feeling connected to animals, birds and the Earth is a way of getting out of the head and becoming grounded. Bird-watching has become a growing national pastime. When we watch birds, it’s easy to want to soar with them. Great blue herons build their nests, raise their young and migrate from places around my neighborhood. When storms recently destroyed many of the nests, it was impossible not to grieve for the loss of the eggs. An entire generation was wiped out in a few hours. The climate changes are taking their toll and we’re partly to blame.

Today make an effort to get out in nature. Go to a park. Drive to a hiking trail. Bike by a lake. Pay attention to the delicate and fragile details. A beautiful, nearly transparent blue-green spider created a magnificent, finely woven web on the lawn chairs. No human could reproduce the same. It was her nature to create such delicate beauty. Get out today and explore the natural world. By sitting or walking quietly in nature, begin to observe the animals, birds and insects worlds. They have many lessons to share and much wisdom to impart.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at

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