Nature Meditation #3 – Nature is God’s Cloak

“Nature is the time-vesture of God that reveals Him to the wise, and hides Him from the foolish.” — Carlyle

(Discussion of religion is not the focus of my blog,  but in this Christmas meditation at one of the most celebrated seasons for many faiths, this post seems appropriate.)

People may find God in a cathedral, temple, synagogue, mosque or any number of religious buildings. But to me, the original cathedral, temple, etc., etc., is outside. There, I am most awed by God’s creation. It is God’s great gift.

Long before humans invented air conditioning and electric lights, gas heaters, trains, planes and cars, people, like other animals, were very aware of the weather, the coming and going of the sunlight and the phases of the moon. They ‘lived’ in it – much more than we do today.
Humans lived in an agrarian society. They watched the weather, they knew the cycles of life, and learned how to use those cycles to their advantage, whether it was when raising crops or livestock,  moving about while trading goods, or traveling.

It has really been since the start of the Industrial Age in the late 1800s that humans began to detatch from the wisdom available to us in nature. I think that this is the ‘cloak’ that our writer Carlyle is referring to in today’s quote. A cloak is a covering, and it is knowledge followed by understanding that removes this cloak and lets us see the amazing and complicated thought of God’s creation.

In college as I studied ecology, I learned about the intricate web of life, how each species depends on other animals as well as on nonliving things (minerals, soil, water, air) to exist. There are so many relationships in nature, some that people have not yet discovered.

No creature exists alone. And no creature exists in nature without having some effect on the world around them. Animals all build houses, forage for food, eat, drink, leave waste. In God’s wisdom, some other creature uses the waste, takes over the house when it is abandoned, provides food for something else. 

And above and around us, the air and water circulate, providing the two elements that make Earth unique among the planets of our solar system, and make Earth habitable for creatures including humans who need oxygen to breath and water to drink. 

I watch Nature around me and I see God. I see him in the grasses, in the trees, and in the sky. Whether it is hot or cold, windy or still, God’s world is everywhere around us. God’s world is in the city and in the country. And we have five senses with which to experience it.

We feast upon it with our eyes: beautiful sunrises and sunsets splendid with pink and red, gold and purple. Sparkling ice crystals in winter, golden sunrays in summer. We can close our eyes and hear nature’s music: birdsong, rushing wind, bubbling water, whispering leaves and grasses. We feel the sun and wind on our skin, we taste them on our tongues. With our noses we smell the rich earth, the pungent leaves and the savory herbs and grasses.

Today, much more so than in centuries past, most of us have to make a conscious effort to do this!

Our world is so fast and we are so busy. We are in a hurry to get Everywhere! We focus on things that excite us, and get the adrenaline rushing. Our hearts beat fast, and our minds dart from one thought to another as our bodies move from one activity to another.
In the coming year, let’s SLOW DOWN! It’s good for our minds, our hearts and our souls. I’m convinced that taking time to watch a sunrise or sunset and become aware of Nature around us is crucial to human happiness. It will remove the “cloak” and increase your wisdom! 

I found this quote is an old book that belonged to my father, called Leaves of Gold. The original copyright of the book was 1938 by Evan S. Coslett, but later revisions carry a copyright of 1948. My father’s book was the 12th printing, 1963 under the coyright of A.C. and D.G. Remley. This book is full of wonderful quotes about all kinds of things, and devotes several pages to words of wisdom about Nature from various people. 

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