I love walking. I sometimes don’t get out as much as I need to and when that happens there is an urge to get out and commune with nature. I have been missing a connection that I very much need. Somehow in my relationship with nature I get plugged in. It is as if I am being beckoned to come out and play. A longing exists inside of me and I hear it calling when I have been gone for too long.
Lately, in addition to walking, I have also been jogging. I am by no means a die-hard about this. One moment I am walking and the next moment I find myself being moved to jog. I’m not sure why. It is something that I feel inside of me and I respond to what is being told to me. I really do dislike running/jogging. Or maybe I just think I do. I’m not sure. Something, however, has caused me to want to move in this way. At first, I thought it was because I was running away from something. Maybe from something that I didn’t want to deal with or something that I greatly disliked. Now, however, I don’t think that is really the case. I think I am actually running toward something.
My body, my soul and my mind have been racked with great emotion for months, maybe even years and in the process of walk-jogging I believe the energy of these emotions becomes shifted, transformed and perhaps even released from my system allowing me to let go of all that is holding me back and therefore I run in order to be free. In this process, I am emptying myself, making room so that I may be filled up with all that surrounds me. Making space is a therapeutic and yes, even painful process. I am learning to embrace it all. Sometimes I am very relaxed and able to go with it and at other times I fight it like a decorated warrior. Not wanting to let go, not seeing or even realizing what I am doing. I am hanging onto this stuff like a life-saving flotation device. What I sometimes fail to recognize is that this act is doing the exact opposite. I am not being saved, I am clinging and therefore drowning in what I am clinging to. In running I have found release, letting go, freedom, grace and therefore I am saved.
I was in a particular mood yesterday morning and I realized this because as I was running and trying to listen to the music on my iPod nothing sounded good. Nothing seemed right. Nothing spoke to me. I found myself being lost and frustrated at first, not really feeling at home. I recognized this and rather than fight it, I embraced it. I let the surroundings of where I was speak to me. Some people may not be able to find the beauty in where I go. Afterall, it is not an out-of-the-way location. I walk/run around my neighborhood with homes, yards, dogs and cars passing by. Some would find this unintriguing. I never have. I have always been moved by what I see, smell and hear along the way. For even though this area is very much lived in by people there are joys and discoveries in this as well. I have passed by a home with the smell of maple syrup so inviting that I wanted to knock on their door and ask if I could come in and sit with them and share the meal they must have been enjoying. Or the smell of fabric softener bringing about a thought of freshness and cleanliness. Images of chores being completed by a loving hand.
This area is still very much lived in by creatures that were here long before we invaded their space. They now ever so lovingly share this space with us. I know they do this ever so humbly and more graciously then we do. We want to take ownership in everything. They I believe take ownership in nothing. They are not bound by ego or pride They are by instinct bound only to what is.
As I have walked, I have examined and taken in the grass that grows long and flowing along the side of the road. The beautiful seeds at the top of the stalk, flowing in the breeze like a feather. Wildflowers that have somehow made their way along the roadside as well. Having drifted there as a seed and then resting, eventually works its way into the soil, planting roots and growing into the being I now see. Everything has significance and in its charming way is extremely amazing and powerful. Birds fly about, darting back and forth sometimes landing to sing, observing all that is around them before they take to the sky again.
One particular day I spied two female deer, one bigger then the other. They appeared ancy and unsure when I saw them. Their behavior made me wonder what their concern was and just as I was pondering this, I saw in the tall grass the movement of ears and spied the fawn I’m sure they were hoping I would not notice. I smiled knowing that they were doing what all mother’s do and that is protect and guard their young. I pictured the bigger deer as being the grandmother and the other one as a new mother and grandma was giving lessons to her daughter teaching the ways of keeping her child safe. I do not know that the animal kingdom actually works in this manner, the vision was still very much present in my mind. And then it occurred to me how everything in nature instinctively knows what to do. They know when there is danger, they know when to prepare for winter, how to take care of their young, how to plant themselves in the soil and grow and bud. They do not ask themselves how to do it. They just do it. They just know without question and they respond to this intrinsic knowing.
I thought how perfect it would be if we as humans had this certain knowing within us and then it occurred to me that we do. We have all been given the blessing of this knowing. We however forget or need to be reminded. It is like we are sleeping and when we remember and begin to trust in this knowing we become awake and nothing is ever the same again. For once we become awake to this knowing we can never truly go to sleep again. Maybe there are moments when it seems like that but sleep never fully returns. There are always remnants of this knowing that lingers around in our being knocking at our doors never allowing full immersion into sleep again. The knowing knocks unceasingly waiting eagerly for us to answer the door. This perhaps is what happens when I have been gone too long from my immersion into nature. I answer the knowing that is knocking at the door and walk/run headlong into all that awaits me for the knowing knows that I will find myself among this beauty of nature. That I will reconnect, plug-in and experience my essence and it’s energy will fill me and cause transformation that has been calling to me. The knowing tells me to trust it for in this trusting I am being prepared for something greater than I can ever imagine or realize. I do not see or understand what this might be but the knowing calls me to trust it and so I do.
As I walk/run, the lines of a song come to me. “He walks with me and He talks with me”. I am comforted by this for I know this to be my truth. And even though this is my truth there are a couple of spots along my walk that I have grown very fond of where I make a point to stop and be blessed by these particular areas and have my conversations with God. One is looking over a valley with lush green trees and grass. The other is almost direct opposite where in the mornings if I time it just right I can sit and watch the sunrise as I am conversing with God. For several days when I looked over the valley and talked with God three small birds would soar through the sky. I felt there was significance in the fact that there were always three. They were reminders to me of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and that I was being called to trust completely. Such inexpressible comfort I receive in these moments.
And almost at the completion of my walk, I spy something floating through the air. I put out my hand to catch this thing that is fluttering in the breeze. I smile as this extremely small downy feather touches the palm of my hand. I close my hand around it knowing that I have been touched by God. He is speaking to me. Showing me that He is surrounding me in His ever-present light, filling me with His love. I take this precious gift with me as I finish my journey. I put the gift in a canister a friend gave me when I get home as a reminder of the knowing I have experienced. I take this knowing with me throughout my day.
Find what is speaking to you and trust in this knowing. The knowing is at its very core from God. This knowing will anchor you. Don’t doubt it. Trust it and let it move inside of you. The beauty that will be discovered will be beyond your wildest dreams.