Contacting Our Soul Through Nature

In The Soul, The Natural World, and What Is, Richard Rohr suggests that the soul – or the true self, who we most deeply are – is “a scary place to go because for forty, fifty, sixty years, we’ve defined ourselves by our roles, our titles, our degrees, our clothes, our ethnicity…all those things that are going to die in a few years, anyway.”

He suggests that one of the quickest ways we can make contact with that deepest part of ourselves is through nature, suggesting that he knows of nothing “that can mirror us more lovingly, more truthfully, and more foundationally, than nature itself.”

As I read those words, they reminded me of something D.H. Lawrence wrote:

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodes taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh and institutions will curl up like
burnt paper.

So, get thee to a forest…or at least to a park or aboretum during these beautiful spring days. As Rohr suggests, “[t]ry to listen to that pull, nature’s inherent delight, that cosmic allurement which you feel in nature and around animals much more than in anything constructed by human hands.”