by Dr. Frank Kinslow
“A great silent space holds all of nature in its embrace. It also holds you.”
Not one sparrow falls from the sky that our heavenly Father does
not know about - so much does he love the creation he made.
This may seem an obvious question but have you ever noticed how nature makes you feel
good? Did you ever ask yourself why? We love to watch billowing clouds slowly
transform into lions or gnomes or a blustery Uncle Fred. The power of the ocean draws
us to its shore to watch waves tumbling over each other like playful kittens, only to
surrender exhausted at our feet. We feel more complete, somehow more human, when we
acknowledge nature. How does that work?
We humans are self imposed prisoners of concrete and steel, cut off from the vibrancy of
nature. We compensate by bringing plants and animals into our coffin like quarters, and it
works, in part. Through them we are reminded of how we were in childhood when we
were most like nature. But, what is it that nature has, or is, that we have lost?
Nature is our partner in evolution. It fluidly expresses, what we strive so hard to attain;
effortless being. A bird acts without forethought or volition. A sparrow doesn’t say,
“O.K., now I’d like to eat those berries but I’ve been gaining a little weight lately, maybe
I shouldn’t. Besides, the purple ones give me gas and ...” A bird naturally eats or doesn’t
eat according to its nature. An elephant sleeps when it is time, a coyote hunts, a leopard
leaps and a whale sings in perfect cadence with the singular beating heart of creation.
Nature is a tuning fork. It resonates at the perfect pitch for human harmony. It is always
resonating, waiting for us, like a loving mother waiting for her children to return. When
Nature does enfold us in her peaceful embrace the human mind gives up its mental toys
and settles into the bliss of being purely human.
Then it happens. We prodigal sons and daughters of nature return the favor. We inspire
nature to become conscious of its own existence; a completing of the Self-awareness
circuit as it were, a reunion of Self with Self.
Several days ago I was leaving home for a meeting. I heard a rustle high in the tree
overhead. My eye was drawn to a pair of blue jays flitting along the top branches. The
male led the way to the next tree but the female hesitated as she looked at me, looking at
her. She was ever watchful for predators, twisting her neck this way then that, in jerky
motions as birds in the wild must. She cocked her head to one side for a long second and
our eyes met again. This was no accident. She dropped down a few branches and began
watching me more closely. I felt a strange sense of familiarity in her, an ancient
camaraderie. I stood, neck bent, looking up into the branches. As she descended limb by
limb, a sense of peace settled over me. She was less wary now, checking for threats only
occasionally, content to calmly connect with me. By contrast her mate nervously scanned
sky and earth while pacing between branches, giving little peeps and hurried chortles. But
she remained steady on a branch now just above my upturned face. As I stood looking up,
slightly swaying, she pulled one leg up under her and fluffed out her feathers looking like
a blue-white snowman with one twig leg and two fathomless dark eyes.
I don’t know how long we bathed in that communal silence, ten or fifteen minutes I
suppose. I was the one to break it off. My neck was getting stiff and besides, I was now
ten or fifteen minutes late for my appointment. I bade a silent goodbye to the jay, but
what we shared could not be left behind. Our forms could separate and resume life in our
alternate and alienated worlds. But we could not leave the silence behind; or the Knowing
that had fathered it.
Walking away I turned to see if my friend was leaving too. She was, easily working her
way back through the branches to console her harried mate. He met her among the leaves
of the highest tree, scolded her lightly, looked both ways as if crossing a street, and flew
beyond the roof of the building next door. Before following, she hesitated briefly and
looked back over her shoulder. Our eyes met for the last time and stirred the still lively
silence between us. Then she dropped into space, unfolded her wings and left our world