This past week, my husband Josh and I were enjoying a lazy Sunday, hoping to get out into some natural surroundings at some point to enjoy the hints of spring in the air. We are done with the hibernation of winter, ready for warmth and sunlight.
Friends of ours called and said that they were taking a drive to the Lancaster area to see a wildlife area known for the migration of snow geese and tundra swans. Though I had plenty of dishes to do, blog posts to write, books to read, and so on, we decided to spontaneously hop into the car and go with them, seeking an outdoor adventure.
When we arrived to the reservoir where the geese where supposed to be, we saw thousands of birds in the distant sky, masses of white making waves in the air. We drove on to get a closer look, but alas, that was the only glimpse we got of the snow geese all day.
There were, however, around 100 or so tundra swans, gracefully swimming in the reservoir, and though they were still a ways off, we were able to admire them from afar. All four of us climbed a huge tree to get a better look. I have to admit it’s been a while since I’ve climbed a tree, and the ascent and descent were a bit more difficult than I can remember.
Though we missed the peak of the snow geese (55,000 or more in February), I did not miss the rejuvenation of being outside. I did not miss the crisp air and sunshine, the beauty of light and color, azure sky, rich blue water, golden fields.
Nature is good for my soul.
Thomas Aquinas wrote, “Sacred writings are bound in two volumes - that of creation and that of the Holy Scriptures. Visible creatures are like a book in which we read the knowledge of God.” Whether majestic snow geese or elegant tundra swans, hyacinths or crocuses, we understand God in new ways through all these aspects of nature. “To study the word of God is to study nature,” says Matthew Fox.
It becomes clear to me time and time again that God speaks to me, to all of us, through Creation. When we are in love with God, then ideally, we are loving Creation; we see the earth’s inherent worth and value. We become compelled to care for the earth in which we live, to live in a way that honors God and all that God created.
May we seek a greater understanding of God through Creation all around us.
When have you experienced God's presence in nature?
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz is a social worker, a writer, a wife, a sister, a daughter, a community member...continually learning how to do a better job at each of these roles. She is newly married (if under 2 years still counts as "new"!) and currently working as a school-based clinical therapist. She is always contemplating how to love others better and to enjoy the small things of life; to see God in everything...and everyone. Also important to note- she loves cheese, speaking French, and experiencing different cultures (whether in or out of the United States)! Micalagh blogs at Only Small Things.