“I take of my hat on the walk
down to the park
because it feels like a church
and I want to feel
connected to the sky, and I realize
it is a church–
it contains my religion:
the trees, the birds, the air so smooth
into my lungs. This is my cross,
my prayers, my communion.
I take off my hat because the trees
tell me to. They say, you
walk in a greater world than yourself;
show respect to this powerful world which you
might leave at any time.”
This excerpt of a poem by Nicole Guenther is from the anthology Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25. The anthology is full of youthful passion, but this thoughtful meditation on religion is the poem that stood out to me the most. I am not an “outdoorsy” person by any stretch of the imagination. I feel like a bit of a fraud acting as though I have this strong connection to nature when the closest I get to nature are my long, meditative walks during which I get all my great ideas and inspiration. And even that doesn’t feel right to say–I’ve hardly made the time for such walks since Ladybug was born (she’s almost four now for those keeping score). Perhaps that’s why I haven’t had as many great ideas lately….
In any case, I hope to experience a greater connection to the trees and the sky and to share this sort of “spirituality” with my daughter.
See more posts about science, religion, and secular family life on my Secular Thursday page.
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