What it this location of these honkin' big trees, you might wonder. A mere 15 minute drive north of Belleville, along the banks of the Moira River, is a local gem, the Frink Centre. It is obviously equipped for school groups to learn about the natural world and these days the yellow buses are lined along the road, waiting for the kids who have experienced the sugar bush. But it is easy to get away from the happy mayhem and enjoy a walk in near solitude on one of many trails. We were there earlier this week and our "spring" world is still sufficiently frozen for us to walk through the swamp which is visible but not accessible on foot during other seasons. This clump of trees was particularly impressive, so wife Ruth posed.
It would be fair to say that we have enjoyed upwards of a thousand walks and climbs and paddles through our forty years together -- forty, there's a biblical number. A day with even a few minutes outdoors is a better day for both of us, even when many of them have been cold, or rainy, or buggy. Actually, those conditions are preferable to torridly hot.
We both find that we are spiritually grounded when we are in the created world. Both of us enjoy urban settings. A recent trip to New York City was marvelous because of the museums and galleries and vistas. Yet we chose to walk through Central Park every chance we got.
I'm convinced that becoming attuned to the sounds of everything and nothing in a natural setting is literally good for the soul. It is God's intention for us, even though the planet's human population is becoming increasingly urban and intensified. We are created as Groundlings, as adamah, or creatures of the soil, according to Genesis. We can exist without this earth connection, but we less of what God intends us to be.
I find that whenever I pay attention to trees, streams, flowers, critters, even in the daily "citified" routine, my spirit lifts. It sounds a little like "hippy talk" but I figure that even more it is "faith talk."
Are you rolling your eyes, even as you read? Is this sentiment a luxury of the affluent? Or does time in the garden or the woods reorient your spirit?