Connecting with Nature

Okay so we’re in August and yes sorry that summer will soon be over. But wait! There is a whole month left before summer unofficially ends on Labor Day September 2nd, and three weeks more until the official end of summer on the autumn equinox. So it’s not like it’s the last minute. There is still plenty of time to do all those summer things that we want or need to do! Here in the Northeast, we are still waiting for tomatoes to come up so we can prepare our very own Caprese salads, soups, and sauces. Oh the endless joys of gardening!

Speaking of joyous things to do, for all of you who have ever wanted to visit a spiritual community geared to adults, I would strongly suggest Omega in Rhinebeck, New York. I just did a weekend intensive program there with Dr. Eben Alexander and Dr. Raymond Moody, my fourth time with those remarkable man. And quite a weekend it was!

While Omega is primarily a camp for adults, they do have a “teen week” and things to do for younger children. The grounds are so very beautiful and peaceful. One of the best features is that you can free yourself of electronic gadgetry (but choose to engage if you’re in the lovely café). If the cabins are a bit too rustic for you, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfasts in the area which is famous for its great gardens and sustainable farms, something New York State is becoming noted for. Truly amazing and very inspiring is Omega’s day of “Healing the Earth” with participants doing their part, even if it’s just a little bit, to correct the carbon footprints we all leave. If your dance card is filled this summer, really think about visiting Omega next year. You will make your mark and leave very happy!

Someone who has made her mark worldwide is the truly inspiring Jane Goodall, the world’s most famous primatologist. I just read an article about her which noted that fifty years ago, Jane became the first person to prove that nonhuman animals make tools. More recently, Jane has been focusing on a life form less intelligent than the chimpanzees she studied in Tanzania. In fact, a species that has no brain at all: plants.

Jane’s newest book, Seeds of Hope: Wisdom and Wonder From the World of Plants, co-written with Gayle Hudson, chronicles Jane’s lifelong love of all things leafy. In the book, Jane writes that “There would be no chimpanzees without plants – nor human beings either,” and confesses that she might never have started studying apes had she not, as a child, been obsessed with Africa’s forests. Now 79 years young, Jane runs the Jane Goodall Institute to protect chimpanzees’ habitat, and Roots and Shoots to encourage children to become conservationists. Jane has inspired me my whole life. She is a big part of why I became an avid gardener and lover of Nature which is the closest tangible thing to “God.”

I would suggest that if you are of mind to present yourself with just one gift during this rest of summer, make that gift being active in Nature. And while you are there, listen. You never know when a loved one is going to “call your name” from the Other Side.