My final spiritual practice – after gratitude, meditation, and journalling – is being in nature. This is probably the most meaningful and restorative practice for me – spending time walking in the woods always lightens my spirit – and the one I find hardest to experience living in the surburban Greater Toronto Area. I typically drive so much I don’t want to drive more to get out of the city, and while there are some good trails nearby they are short and haunted by the sounds of traffic. Walking there helps, but it isn’t the same as a longer walk or bike ride away from city sounds.
Reading nature writing helps fill in the gaps when I can’t get out, so today in this time of social distancing I offer you this poem by the brilliant thinker Wendell Berry.
Through the weeks of deep snow
we walked above the ground
on fallen sky, as though we did
not come of root and leaf, as though
we had only air and weather
for our difficult home.
as March warms, and the rivulets
run like birdsong on the slopes,
and the branches of light sing in the hills,
slowly we return to earth.