One of the things I have noticed on my travels, when in the presence of indescribable beauty, be it a spectacular sunset, an exquisite rainbow, wildlife, or on top of Glastonbury Tor, is that the first thing most people do is reach for their phone to take a picture. It can be disappointing to find the picture didn't do justice to the magic of the moment, and by the time you put your phone away, the beauty of the scene had diminished, so you didn't get the full experience.
I have had to check myself to ensure I don’t fall into this trap, on many occassions. Conversely, we can savour the awe and wonder and take the opportunity to be still and connect with nature; to recognise that Mother Earth is our biological parent; to know that her magnificence reflects our own, as beings who carry the seed of the creative force. We can honour the scene and capture it in our heart.
Frequently, when I have done this, the magic is amplified - another rainbow appears, then another, or the view from the top of the hill becomes brighter and more splendid. The elements and the earth have intelligence and, amazingly, I have discovered that the more you observe, the more nature reveals herself to you. But strictly, for your eyes only! Until we recognise our relationship with the natural world, what we see around us are just pretty pictures and we are simply an observer.
My experience of connecting with nature was born out of necessity, when I lived in a micro-climate of extreme weather (which I wrote about in my book). It was essential to tune in to the elements, in order to keep me, my animals and the ancient property safe. While I had spent a lot of time outdoors before that, I had always been busy doing something (mostly sport), so my appreciation was superficial.
Our connection with nature is health giving and calming. But more than this, I believe it holds the key to solving many pressing issues of our times. Nature has much to teach us, and there are many secrets yet to be discovered. The first step is to experience her personally. Only then, should we reach for our phone!
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