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"Seeing the beauty; feeling the joy."

Back in the early 1990s, I was a young mom going through a divorce, working hard to provide and at the same time, trying to hold myself together for the sake of my kids. Lucky for me, I lived near the water and my sister lived with me, so every night after my son and daughter were tucked in, I grabbed my portable CD player and headed down there. I walked and walked and just cried and cried while listening to opera and taking in the smells and the solitude.

You might think I was crying because of sorrow--because I was feeling the impact of my impending divorce. The crazy thing is I was crying because I felt joy! I felt freedom; I felt safe and balanced, and incredibly gifted to have the ability to do this. And I loved the fact that I loved opera! I kept thinking, 'How many people can truly appreciate how melodic and beautiful this music really is?' I loved the squishing of the sand beneath my feet; I loved the exercise it provided my body, and I loved the idea of being connected to something greater than myself.

Now, looking back, I have gratitude of a different 'nature.' I could go on and on with the positive emotions and memories I have about that time in my life--a time that should have stayed with me in a completely different way--but it didn't. The healing that nature offers me is indescribable. What a privilege to have this knowingness and to be able to appreciate our Earth! And if you are just burgeoning on this awareness, how fortuitous!

Realize that every day is another chance to embrace the Earth's nuances. Every year of age, we can become more in tune with its offerings. Every decade offers an even greater appreciation of its healing potential, and every phase of our life grants a deeper connection, so harmonious and synchronistic, it is hard to ignore its calling. We come from it; we will go back to it... what happens in between is a truly a gift.

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