Breath of Nature
There’s a place I like to go where I feel the rawness of nature. Sitting there, my soles connected to the leaf-strewn earth, the northwest wind drifting across my face, I feel it down to my very core. I tilt my head to catch every last ray of warmth yielded by the sun and gazing across the fields of oaks and yellow grass intermingled with green shoots, I see the hills turn into mountains where the trees break away into pines and redwoods, and the mountains rise into snow-capped peaks stretching high above the treeline as if reaching up for God.
I take a breath of cool tranquility and I feel the profound oneness pervading every molecule of this earthly crust, the invisible tug of nature grasping at my fingertips.
The resonant buzzing of bees fills the stillness of the languorous afternoon air. Feeling a tickle at my ankle, I notice a tiny insect crawling upwards. Clinging to my leg, it slowly scales the summit. From a bug’s eye view, I am its entire world, and, like a fly caught in your car window that becomes an unwitting stowaway toward parts unknown as you cross the state, I hold this creature’s fragile life in my hands.
Hearing a euphony of chatter and song above me, I look overhead at the knotted limbs of the grand oaks nearby and clustered all around. Sparrows and starlings congregate among the lower branches, hummingbirds and kinglets flit about in restless activity. A mockingbird dutifully drills a pattern of holes in rings around the bark, while a pair of crows further off undertake their sentinel watch near some grazing cattle and a sharp-eyed hawk rests high on its lofty perch.
These creatures of woodland and field reside in harmonious complexity, the circle of life unbroken for generations untold.
I am a guardian of the lesser creatures, steward of the habitats that house the greater ones, and a participant in the behaviors and habits that impact every one of them, both large and small.
I feel this connection, this solemn responsibility, deep inside as I mingle my breath with the wind and my essence with the earth. Grounded by unseen roots running to the center of the planet, my soul synchronously rises in gentle confluence with cosmic currents.
In my singular position, I am the link between earth and sky. Creature and Creator. I am a vessel bearing attributes both mundane and divine. And even as I leave my berth of solitude, this breath of nature—within me and without and all around—is always near.