I believe nature is our teacher

that there are lessons in her trees...

in her flowers...

in her animals...

in her oceans...

in her seas...


She teaches us how life is beautiful...

how it’s wonderful to be alive.

She teaches us we need each other

in order to survive.


She teaches us how we’re all kindred spirits

every you…

and every I

How we’re meant to live harmoniously

with each other

with her winds...

her stars...

her sky…


But some of us have not been listening…

Some of us simply disobey…

Some of us seem to have forgotten…

Some of us have gone astray


Nature, however, is hopefully optimistic…

She knows if we will only heed her call

and practice the lessons she is teaching

she’ll make kindred spirits of us all.

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I love to visit art museums…to see how the artist has found a way to capture what they see onto a canvas…my favorites are Van Gogh and Monet.


But when I can’t get to an art museum…not one tear do I shed….no, when I can’t get to an art museum…I look out my window instead.


For when I look out my window…nature’s art is what I see…I love the vibrant colors she uses to paint her birds, her flowers…her trees.


Most days the art outside my window makes me gasp…and often makes me sigh as I marvel at the intricacies of her brushstrokes…the way she paints the clouds…the rainbow colors of her sky.


And it never ceases to amaze me as I stare open-mouthed with my hands against my window pane…at how elegantly she paints the sunshine…and how delicately she paints the rain.


I once lamented having poor eyesight…being born with eyes that blur everything I view….eyes that do not see the world the way that other people do…


But without my glasses…looking out my window at the beginning of the day…I see an impression of the sunrise as painted by Monet.


And with my glasses off in the evening….at my window after turning off my light when I look up at the sky…I see Van Gogh’s starry night.


(Now I celebrate my blurry vision….because, in my heart, I know

It’s the reason I love the sunrises painted by Monet and the starry nights of Van Gogh.)


So when I can’t visit an art museum…I never grumble…never grouse…I simply make it a point to visit every window in my house.


Where I am blessed with a masterpiece painted by nature inside every window frame…

where thanks to the artistry of nature..no two paintings will ever be the same.


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We come from Earth…we are but one part of nature…our brothers and sisters are the land and the sea and the rain…but too often we think we are better than nature…because, we think, we have a superior brain.


We think we’ve evolved beyond nature’s lessons…which causes nature every day to beseech us…pleading how we still have so much to learn…and she…still so much to teach us.


Take acceptance for instance…after millenniums of watching us…nature continues to be concerned…for she knows there is still so much about accepting one another we have yet to learn.


Do the animals care what we look like…if we are tall, short, heavy or thin?

Do the flowers care what God we pray to?

Do the oceans even notice the color of our skin?


Does the snow or rain care about your gender or who you love?

Do trees stand in judgement of you?

Does the Earth draw boundaries across her lands…

or is this something only we humans do?


No, nature continues to try and teach us how we’re all connected…

how every part of nature is our sister and our brother….

and that she doesn’t care who or how we love…

only that we love one another.


It’s a lesson natures’ been trying to teach us throughout all of human history…

a lesson she hopes we humans…

with our superior brains…

one day will be able to see.


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The silence of the darkness on my early morning strolls is as close as I have ever come to experiencing nature’s soul.


There is a beauty in her silence at the beginning of the day…a tranquil kind of mystery that can take your breath away.


Have you ever stood in silence under a starry sky…and not wonder what you’re doing here…not wonder how and why.


Have you ever stood in the silence of a falling snow…or watched clouds silently changing shape as they’ve drifted to and fro?


Have you ever walked in silence through a field filled with flowers…and as you experience the wondrous varieties of life…not wondered about a higher power?


Have you ever sat in the comfort of silence with a loved one…and in your heart concede…that, at that particular moment, you have everything you need?


In the aftermath of a death…the ultimate silent tragedy…who hasn’t felt the silence that was once your friend…become your enemy.


Sadness rides in with the silence for there is a silent moment when…you realize you will never see or hear or touch that person in your life again.


And even though you know they’re gone…still…every now and then throughout the years…isn’t it in the silence of your loneliness you cry your deepest tears.


But isn’t it also in the silent darkness when you begin to feel yourself ascend…and the silence that was just your enemy…once more…becomes your friend


And again you feel the comfort of the silence…your smile returns because you know…it is in the silence of the evening when the trees begin to grow…


It’s in the silence of the days when the flowers create their blooms…and where does the miracle of life begin if not in the silence of a mother’s womb?


My morning walk is over and as I finish up this latest stroll…I feel blessed that nature has allowed me a silent look into her soul


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The more we walk in unspoiled nature…the more we hear her sounds and see her sights…the more and more we realize the Native American’s had it right…


On our walk the other day…once again we were in awe…

let me share with you to some of the sights and sounds…some of the wonders that we heard and saw.


We heard many different birds singing…with various musical abilities

We heard the sound of water meeting the land and the wind whispering to the trees.


We saw the delicate intricacies of the spiders and the webs they all had spun.

We saw the beauty of the lake as its water glimmered in the sun.


We saw the bright yellows of the smooth beggarticks that all around us grew…the purples of the climbing asters and mist flowers painted blue


We saw the vibrant colors of the butterflies…Yellow, pink and white…

and herons everywhere we looked…in colors blue and white.


We saw alligators lurking in the marsh…moss filled trees alive and dead…we saw moorhens swimming with the alligators with eagles flying overhead.


So you can see how, with every walk we take in nature…the more we hear her sounds and see her sights…the more and more convinced we are…the Native American’s had it right…


It’s also way we try to walk in the footprints of their ancestors as often as we can…

so we can feel the same wonders they felt

walking in spaces 

that have not been rearranged by man.






Sitting around a campfire recently I quickly became attuned…to the beauty of the nature surrounding me…to the trees…the stars…the moon.


The fire was truly fascinating…as I felt its warmth and watched its flames I realized with every one I’ve ever sat beside how no two fires are the same.


As I watched the flames of this fire grow higher, reaching to the sky…every now and then a flame would break away and, on its own, would fly…


I’d watch it slowly float up…up…up into the night…until it flew so high it faded from my sight.


And, as my eyes turned upward, my attention was quickly seized by the moon as she floated in the sky…smiling through the trees.


It was one of those moment is life…watching the fire…listening to the voices of family and friends…that I wished would last forever…

that I hoped would never end.


And when the flames had breathed their last…I smiled hoping the next campfire would come soon…giving me another chance to sit with family and friends…where the fire meets the moon.


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We arrived at the beach at 2:45 in the morning…why, you ask, at such an early hour?

because that was the best time to see shooting stars from the Orionid meteor shower.


But the full moon’s light made shooting stars almost impossible to see with the eye…and adding insult to our injury clouds were blanketing the sky.


So with the reason we came to the beach thwarted…from the sky we turned our attention away…and immediately noticed how the light from the moon overhead made the nighttime seem more like the day.


We noticed how at first we were mesmerized by the silence stretching across the land…until we heard the faint call of the ocean…whispering across the sand.


We noticed her voice never rose above a whisper…as across the sand it swept…

as if she was consciously keeping her voice low…while the animals of the daytime slept 


We noticed how the moon, itself, was quite beautiful…how she really put on a show…illuminating the clouds above us…while making the sands below our feet glow.


We noticed how the glowing sand felt cool beneath our feet…

We noticed how the chilly breeze off the ocean made us forget the usual Florida heat.


We noticed by the water’s edge…a family of birds out for an early morning treat…and we wondered, with no worms around, what do the early birds at the ocean eat?


But most of all we wondered if this beach in the moonlight…natural…untouched…pristine…was the way God intended to create it…the way it was meant to be seen.


There on our blanket in the sand…we realized how lucky we are…

and surrounded by the beauty of so many miracles …we forgot about shooting stars.


Yes, we came to the beach in the middle of the night to feel the wonder of those shooting stars…knowing seeing them is quite rare….

but we quickly realized…

the wonder was not in the shooting stars

the wonder was in being there.





The moon was still shining bright and…as the sun rose…they began to play…and I felt blessed I was there to witness the birth of a new day.


Last nights rain clouds, now empty, still lingered in the sky…as pelicans and ibises and starlings sailed by.


The moon began to dim…her nightly job she knew was done…as she happily relinquished the day to her partner and good friend…the sun.


It’s as if the moon had turned around…in search of her next night…bidding a fond farewell to the clouds and their canvases of white.


The clouds, for their part, were happy to join in on the fun…they stood tall and proud and ready…to be painted by the sun.


The sky…only a moment ago infused in an ebony black hue…began her metamorphosis into a cerulean sky blue.


With the blue sky as her backdrop…the sun without constraints and with a brush on every ray of light…she began to paint.


She painted fast and furiously…each cloud constantly changing like the colors of a flame…and I thought…how amazing she’s been painting since the dawn of time…yet no two paintings are the same.


Her paintings are ephemeral…at the beginning of each day…and each new brush stroke…each new painting…took my breath away.


I became aware of the silence…how all the noise around me suddenly decreased…

and at how the morning breeze…in that same moment…suddenly had ceased…


And it occurred to me the Earth was also watching the birth of a new day….

and just like me…the wonders she was witnessing…took her breath away.


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Since we were created as part of nature…part of her trees…her mountains…her brooks…it’s no wonder we find comparisons to nature…everywhere we look.


For instance…I often think how we, as babies, are similar to acorns in the snow…how we’re both created in innocence…how there’s so much we don’t know.


How we look to our parents to help us with our daily climb…while the acorn looks to Mother Nature with the help of Father Time.


How we look to our family for guidance…for support…to teach to explain…to coax…while the acorn looks to its family comfortably nestled among the oaks.


How we both start out so tiny…so fragile…a diminutiveness that, at first, hides…to the innocent observer…the potential housed inside.


Yes, how often I have thought we, as babies, are similar to acorns in the snow…and how we both need warmth and nurturing if we ever are to grow.


Which is why I pray all parents learn from nature and understand how strong…how solid…how tall that tree will grow…

depends on how they care for…

that acorn in the snow.


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