The Inner Journey Home
If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand. — Buddha
We are seekers — you and I. From birth to death, we wander this life seeking the divine in all its myriad guises. But it is the inner journey that leads us home. For decades I meandered along, catching glimpses of the eternal — while painting, gazing at my newborn children’s faces, marveling at a breathtaking sunset and countless other revelations. The inspiring impressions sustained my nomadic soul on its quest for meaning. Eventually it became clear — the natural world was the source for the inner journey. Two words summed up a lifelong search for understanding — Be Natural.
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. — Rachel Carson
I have early preverbal memories stored deep within my mind. Some scientists say a person can’t have memories without language, but that is untrue. Maybe because I am an artist, I remember sensations of childhood such as: awakening in my crib and looking at the bird mobile above me; baby pins pressing against my stomach as they held up my diaper; my mother rocking me and gently stroking my hair — the feeling still relaxes me today. My innermost memories are of elation — the sheer ecstasy of existence. Wonder has accompanied me wherever I have roamed.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.- Shakespeare
My mom taught me words by carrying me around the yard. I would point at something and she would calmly say the word several times — flower, tree, green… She would set me down and let me explore around our fenced in yard. On my own I discovered textures such as rough from the grass and bark and soft from the flowers and leaves. Sassafras twigs tasted of root beer and the leaves like lemons. Nature became my teacher. The fossils in the limestone taught me history and science; and I learned engineering from luxurious muddy ditches. As a child, the vibrant palette of flowers and clouds ignited my artist soul. The embers of those primeval flames have lit untold paths ever since. All the while I have been accompanied by the soothing mantra — Be Natural.
Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. — John Muir
Nature’s temple has offered a lifetime of wise counsel and solace in many times of need, The overflowing abundance of energy invigorates my spirit and inspires me. Nature’s divine capacity clarifies life. Out in the wind and sun, it becomes clear that the inward and outward journeys are one in the same. There are portals through the walls separating us from the Real. Nature grants us an entry into the transcendental experiences we seek. The journey into the sublime begins with emptying the mind of worries and woes. Embrace the landscape — as if returning home.
Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that damn mountain. — Jack Kerouac
When one leg of a journey ends, there is always another waiting just up ahead. From infant to toddler, youth to adult — our life journey begins in mystery and ends in the greatest mystery of all. Along the way, regret must be set aside. The sands of time are ever flowing and few should be wasted on bitter disappointment. Where you were meant to be is where you are. There are always choices to be made and chances to take. Make amends for any suffering you may have caused. Reconcile past mistakes by being your true self. Let nature extinguish the pain. The journey can continue far beyond this tangible world around us if we learn to — Be Natural.