I wrote this blog during my trip to the Smokies last weekend:
I feel alive in nature. It is where I can breathe, where there are no expectations of how I should or should not look, where no one cares what I wear, that I burp or fart, that I sit around doing nothing for hours on end, or that I hike all day long and reek of sweat afterwards. It is just me and the trees.
Ok, the chipmunks like to join along too, and I know there are a few bears out there as well. But I like to think it’s just me and the trees. That we both stand tall in our element, where we should be.
I am sitting by a babbling brook at a picnic table in Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountain National Parks. Every time I head out into nature to camp, hike and explore, my soul feels a bit more whole. My body comes alive with the breezes. My brain clears with the fresh mountain air, and my body rejuvenates in the miles of roots under foot.
It is where I talk to God, somewhat. In the walls of a church, or the confines of the city, or the distractions of life, I can never seem to connect or focus enough to pray or seek or to attempt to understand where my faith stands. In nature, I see the creation, what God has built over time, and what man has destroyed in that time. But I cherish it just the same. I ask questions in my mind to no one, but really to God. I seek understanding, and voice my concerns and questions and doubts. I often feel like I just converse with myself in my brain during those moments, but inwardly I know that I hope God is hearing this inner voice call out and say “hey, what is this all about?”
I want to reconnect in some way, to have faith more than just understanding that somewhere out there is a God, and that for some reason, hopefully some magnificently great reason, he took Kevin. That’s my faith. Simple and bare. Nothing more. But in nature, we talk. Or I talk, and I hope He listens, he hears.
I don’t believe I’m really listening back if he’s responding. I just am not quite ready to hear the answers, but I do feel a peace, and maybe that’s answer enough. Is my in ward peace about the past 2 years what God is handing to me from all the questions I have asked, and all the doubts I present? Possibly.
In nature, it’s just me talking to the trees. And the trees, maybe in their swaying they can calm my spirit, relieve the doubts, and push me forward. Their roots can give me footing, and the breezes that their leaves provide can cool my anger, my cynicism. There are answers in nature, no doubt.