“The moments that I feel the most imbued with a sense of awe are always the moments when I am outdoors. I can’t help but feel a certain sense of wonder –I become almost filled with it.” Kathi Appelt
How do you feel in the out-of-doors? Are uplifted by nature? Does it make you fearful? How important is it to you?
Help Write The Blog
It is often a challenge to find a topic for each weekly blog because I have been writing them for years, so I’ve decided to take a different approach. I’ll use the alphabet as a guide, choosing a word that starts with that week’s letter as my subject. In addition, I invite you to suggest a word starting with the next letter that you want me to use as my next subject. Place the word in the comment section at the end of the current blog. So the topic for next week will start with a “B.”
Evolution of Words
I find it interesting that words we use may evolve and change over the years. The archaic version of “awe” was “dread” or “terror.” Now, however, we use it to mean “wonder” or “sublime.” The quote that I chose today often uses the current meaning in reference to nature.
The Wonder of Spring
We may experience wonder, especially this time of year, when nature is showering us with blossoms and color. I live in the mountains, which have been mostly brown through the winter, but now the green is beginning to sneak into the landscape.
Every day as I walk outside, a new flower appears in a neighbor’s yard. This week the yellow jonquils are prolific on the block. In my yard, hiding under a shrub, is a purple crocus I almost missed seeing. Sometimes awe is like that. An awesome being is right before us but we cannot see it.
It’s far too easy to curl up inside and limit our lives even more than the pandemic restricts us, especially if we aren’t particularly a nature lover. We can surround ourselves with books, watching television, or playing cards and avoid one of the most awesome times of year.
Releasing Our Fear With Awe
When I saw that “awe” used to mean “dread,” I immediately thought of nature. Do any of you avoid walking through the forest or desert because you fear the wild bears or coyotes? Where I live, the bears that have been hibernating awaken in spring and often visit us looking for food. We have to be careful of them although we may also be entertained by their actions like the time three cubs tried to learn how to climb a tree in the front yard.
As a child growing up and hiking in the Arkansas mountains, I learned to watch out for snakes. We often saw them crossing our paths. My parents taught my brother and me to keep our distance and taught us which ones were the most dangerous, but we also learned they were just a part of nature, not anything evil.
If one has never been taught how to stay safe in a forest, I can understand why it would be fearful to go there, but one can always join hiking groups who know the terrain well. Nature is unpredictable, but it is one of our most awesome natural gifts. Standing among the beauty of nature touches my soul in a way little else can, for I don’t only see the beauty of nature, I feel it as well. I feel the breeze flow through my hair, the sun caress my face, the earth touching my feet on hard rocks and spongy soil.
The Stillness of Nature Is A Gift
There is often a stillness in nature, as deep as the stillness of meditation, that reminds us to take time to be in touch with Spirit and our deepest selves. In that place, we can experience “the peace that passes all understanding.” Experiencing that awe may bring us answers to problems or make us aware of wiser ways to deal with challenges. This spiritual and energetic experience is as beautiful as the visual one.
Experiencing awe requires us to let go of the expected fear and be open to whatever possibilities appear. Awe strikes us with a deep connection, not only to nature, but to all that is. May you have an awesome week!
© 2020 Georganne Spruce