I struggle with understanding what that means, sometimes. I know you exist in my heart of hearts. There is no question. you mean more than that. “God.” That word is capitalized. Not “a god.” Just “God.” The great I AM.
I am still, at the edge of this pond. Quiet. Listening for you. I see where the Native Americans understood god to be Nature: nature is neither good, nor bad, it just is. The trees can be nothing other than themselves. It is not so with humans. We can be whoever we choose to act as. Therefore, I see why we seek that which is honest and true and unchanging . . . because we are not. I see why so many of us run to the woods when we seek clarity; it is the clearest place, free from the burdens of pleasing society. free from the realization that you will let someone down. You will falter. It is here that we can gaze upon simple existence, and, for a time, escape the inevitability of the marred human life.
It is here that the hole we have dug ourselves into, or are hiding in, or are trying to escape from, levels out and for a time disappears. But. It is also here that the reasons behind that hole being there become inescapable. When faced with the honesty, the unashamed truth of nature, one cannot hide from the honesty of one’s own life.
My heart is unclothed in the woods. I can cry, I can grin. I can wring my hands in sorrow, or worry, or guilt, or anxiety here without fear of judgement by the honest trees or squirrels. Even so, I come face to face with my own hypocrisy, my own dishonesty, my own imperfections. That is me. I cannot escape myself.
The trees, in their honesty, cannot be here solely by disorderly, unknown, entropic chance. If so, how does the forest work so much like a well oiled machine? Ecologists recognize not merely a tree, or a stand of trees, but a system. A system which they simultaneously affect and are affected by. It is an interesting observation that the system did well on its own until imperfect humans began to alter it; as if we know, better than a tree, how to be a tree. And yet, here we are, acting upon the land, as it is our duty. In a sense, our mere existence necessitated our caretaking of this land, as a means of counteracting our own effect on it. Funny cycle, that.
It is indeed a testament to the power which keeps nature here, that even our best efforts cannot affect nature wholly. It stands stalwart, though we may rail against it.
Be still, here in this landscape, and know that in spite of your own best–if imperfect–efforts, you are still loved. You are still presented with the honesty of nature to reveal your faults, to comfort your soul, and to give you hope. Hope that one day, when you stop trying, and just be my creation, you too, can stand stalwart in my presence and live, and know that you are loved.