This past week I got to go to a training conference for a volunteer ministry program I will be doing this summer (ACMNP). The conference was in the beautiful Estes Parks, Colorado. The night before we arrived the heavens unloaded a foot of snow. I thought I was done with winter but apparently it wasn’t done with me. That’s ok, I still wore my hippie yoga mat sandals to the snowball fight.
Then I returned to spring. This is my first spring on the East Coast and I am simply amazed at the beauty that surrounds me. I have never seen this many colorful flowers on trees and covering the sidewalk.
Despite growing up in a city, I have always felt more drawn towards nature. It is where I belong. It is where I feel peace and joy. I can only thank my parents for this love of the great outdoors. Growing up we were always taken back and forth across the country camping in almost every National Park along the way. And when I say camping I really mean camping. I once went camping with my friend and her parents brought blow up mattresses, blankets, grills, stoves, coolers, and well pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. It wasn’t what I considered camping. It was as if they relocated their house to a campsite for a day. When I think of camping I remember my dad having me read off the campgrounds in one area we were passing and deciding to stop at the one that only had a pit toilet. In case you are wondering what this is, it is a whole in the ground surrounded by a fence. That’s right, you get a quad work out while naming the constellations. I often think being a hermit in the woods would be the best life.
I’ll leave you with two quotes from John Muir that sum up some feelings about nature that resonate with me.
In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops of and wounds heal ere we are aware. – John Muir
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. – John Muir
Happy Earth day.
Now go take a hike