Image by NileGuide.com via FlickrWith Earth Day being in the month of April, I wanted to share my story with all of you.
I had dumped a very good " friend " years ago when for the first time in my life, I reached out to God. That good friend was my deep love for the natural world, the wilderness and all of its' creatures.
When I was a Christian, I spent so much time with my nose in the bible, doing bible study home-work and having End-Times rhetoric thrown at me, that I lost track of what was real to me, and what truly had always given me peace and comfort in my past.
By nature I'm a mildly nervous person (exaggerated my the meds I have to take) and admittedly I am way too overly sensitive for my own good! So in the early days of my being a Christian, I assumed that the longer that I was a Christian, even more peace and tranquility would come into my life, kind of like a side bonus.
It's interesting, that I know several Christians who permanently walk around in a kind of " daze ", a self-induced euphoria brought on by their certainty that they have ALL the answers, and that they are numero-uno in Gods' eyes. This is a false serenity at its most delusional.
Since leaving the fold, I have thankfully re-discovered my source of peace and connectiveness with the natural world, NOT THE SUPERNATURAL WORLD ! On the opposite side of the coin is the basic Christian attitude towards the earth " Why bother, it'll all end soon anyway " and their attitude towards animals " Man has dominion over the animals, so to heck with them, they have no feelings anyway. " ---wow
A Killer Whale, and an Elk both helped me to come back to my roots, come back to my connection with our natural world again.
While visiting Mickey in Florida, we went to a local theme park on an " off " day, very few visitors. Leaving the show to find the restroom, I walked alone on the side of the gigantic semi-circular "glass" Orca tank. No one else was about. I was looking at the tank, watching the killer whales as I was walking, then I noticed a killer whale slowly following me, while watching me. I went up to the tank and put my hand on the glass, with fingers spread out, and he came right up to the glass and put his nose DIRECTLY on the palm of my hand! He kept it there for a while, while I was so relishing the indescribable sensation radiating from my heart. Here we were, two different species making a connection------going back to our primordial roots !
My second little story happened in the Canadian Rockies, beyond Lake Louise between Banff and Jasper in the province of Alberta, Canada.
We had rented a tiny cabin there, it was our 3rd visit to that area,
( my favorite place on earth ). Our car had developed some problems so my husband made an appointment with a mechanic. I didn't feel like going to town, so I decided to stay at the cabin for some "me" time. My husband would be gone for some 5 or 6 hours, so I thought I could catch up on some reading. His last words out the door were " don't go in the woods ". Well after a while I became so bored out of my gourd, plus reading on such a beautiful day didn't make sense to me. My husbands' words rang in my ears, but I'm a rebel, so off I went. ( like in PeeWee's Big Adventure: " that old highways' `a calling " ) ha .......however I WAS practical in that I did wear my bear bells on my daypack. (It's not a good idea to startle a Grizzly.)
It was a beautiful Autumn day, the sky was unbelievable, the color of Bachelors' Buttons, such a deep intense blue. After an hour I was at an elevation where I could see a lake in the valley below. It was surrounded by Pine, White Birch and Quaking Aspens' in their fall colors. All lakes in that part of the Rockies are a brilliant turquoise blue due to the minerals in the rocks, etc. - How can anything get better than this, I thought.
While looking at the lake, sitting quietly on a rock on an over-crop, I came to feel that someone or something was watching me. I slowly turned around to see a magnificent Grand-Daddy of all Bull Elks, only yards away just across the trail. His antlers were incredible. Instantly my minds' eye flashed to a few days before when we witnessed a Bull Elk charging two photographers who dove into a large culvert where they were trapped for some time, as the irate Elk peed on their equipment ! Feeling half frightened out of my wits, and half in total awe of him, we just looked at each other for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then he slowly turned and walked into the trees for a bit, then paused to turn back to look at me ------ as if to say `Bye'
My feelings were so similar to my killer whale experience. The rush of emotion, the feeling of " oneness " with another life. Like the Grinch, my heart grew two sizes that day !
When I sat in a church pew, or listened to a sermon, I had never, ever, felt the peace that I receive from being in nature. Living in a fantasy world full of myths and falsehoods cannot hold a candle to living in the real world. A world that we must protect instead of blowing it off, thinking it will end soon anyway.
If you want inner peace, find it in solitude, not speed.
And if you would find your-self, Look to the land from which
you came, And to which you go ----- Henry David Thoreau
Thank you for letting me share, this is a wonderful site and I'm grateful for it.