12:03 PM

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” - Henry James

Every winter I hold on to the fast hope of summer, dreaming of sunbursts through the trees on long summer evenings and adventures to great food, great company, and great memories. Winter and I…aren’t the BEST of friends. I believe winter has a magic of its own for sure, but it’s harder to find in my opinion. Whereas in summertime, magic seems to be everywhere. Watching my flowers and veggies come to form in the gardens, observing the birds going about their business in the yard and flying from tree to tree, and enjoying time outside on a blanket in the grass with very little cares in the world are some of my favourite things. Summer is so refreshing and dear to me. Most of my favourite childhood memories exist within the illuminating light of summer days. There is a lightness of being when I am out in nature.

I use to call Autumn my favourite season. It used to speak to me the loudest of the seasons as everything around me, even the wind, felt like poetry. I still love that about the fall season, and throughly enjoy it, but summer is just the right amount of fun and joy that I need each year to fill my soul, kiss my skin, and send me through the rest of the year with enough to hold onto until another summer greets me.

Now that I have a sweet daughter, the magic of summer is even more alive. There is so much gratitude in my heart when I observe her interacting with nature, taking notice of flowers and leaves and butterflies, and falling in love with the little things in life. She laughs with such an innocent joy when she spots something she loves, like a funny shaped tree or a picture of a deer. I can’t wait to take her to a zoo where she can meet some animals face to face. She is truly a nature lover like her mama which was one of my prayers for her while she was being knit in my womb. Nature is one of God’s greatest gifts to us and I think a lot of people feel so disconnected and lost when they no longer make time for or take notice of the nature and beauty that surrounds them. It is meant to fill our souls and give us inspiration… and I know different personalities will be drawn to different things within nature, but I know there is something for everyone. Even my dog goes out and rolls in the grass as happily as can be, likely trying to roll in a scent from a bug or another animal, but she definitely is in love with summer too and always prefers to be outside taking in the sights and smells.

We are made from the earth. We aren’t made of glass or drywall dust or paint, we are made from water and dust and minerals. When you think of how much we belong in nature, it’s really no wonder that those who spend the most time indoors or in manmade dwellings often have the most difficulty connecting with people, connecting with God, and connecting with themselves. Our bodies are home among the wildflowers, running through the water, and soaking up the sunshine. The older I’ve become, the more I’ve realized how very important the gifts of nature are and how we too, are made of nature.

I know we talk about God often as if He is far away, up in the sky or in another dimension somewhere, but that isn’t true. Yes of course, there is Heaven and an omnipresent God is also present there, but He is also here. When we search for God, we don’t need to look upwards. We can look in the garden, in the forest, to the sea, to the mountain, and even at each other. God is everywhere, His fingertips have touched everything we touch. If you are searching for God, you will find Him. Just remember, it’s not your hands searching or your feet or your mind, it’s your heart. Never try to find God without offering your heart to Him…that’s all He wants. We try to make it so logical, so compartmentalized, so perfect, so clean and tidy. Man, life with God is messy. Look at nature. Everything has it’s place and beauty and timing, but man nature is chaotic! I think we almost need to forget all the trappings of our minds and lift up our hearts and spirits and forget our flesh to fully connect with God. Some people find that the hardest thing - to turn off the brain as if it needs to rule your life and to turn on your Spirit. Many people starve their Spirits most of their lives, never letting it lead which is sad because your spirit knows what you need. The mind is a beautiful thing too, but there’s a reason it’s an organ trapped inside a head. It doesn’t have wings, it doesn’t have free reign, it is not free. So don’t let a chained part of you lead your life. The same can actually be said about the heart. A beautiful organ but it’s also encased and trapped. I know that this goes against modern advice to the max, but don’t follow your heart. Follow your spirit. What is a spirit? It’s the part of you that can’t be buried in the ground someday. It’s the part that is not locked up and is free. It’s the part of you that helps unify the rest of you. The spirit is the most neglected part of us. I am sure many much smarter and experienced people have spoken on the human spirit before with much more eloquence and accuracy than my mind’s ramblings. Just remember your spirit is there. Feed it.

The older I get, the more i know that I don’t know it all. I write with almost an “unknowing” just sharing what comes to mind, and never firmly believing that the world is black and white and that I have all the answers. I actually found living that way very boring. The world isn’t black and white, it’s bursting with colours and word has it, heaven has even more colours than we currently even know. Why try to constantly convince myself that I know it all? I am delighted that I don’t. I am delighted that all my life I can be a student of nature, learning about humanity, God, love, and coming to terms with loss. Life is a grand adventure. And while we crawl and stumble and seek to understand this life, there is still an eternity and the land of the spirit that we will one day enter into and begin learning all over again.

One of my main prayers for my children is that they will fall in love with learning. Not just learning from a book, but learning from the trees, the gaze of a loved one, the tears they shed, the arms they embrace, the sky they look upon, and yes, from books that document the grand thoughts of so many wonderful people throughout history. I want them to love art and nature, in whatever that looks like for their individual personalities and giftings. I want them to know and believe that their job on earth above all other titles is to represent love. That’s what we are here for. To share the love God shares with us.

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