Nature can nurture you in many ways.    For me, it started with my love of flowers, rocks, animals and trees.  Nature sings to my soul.  Her beauty is beyond compare. I believe the divine communicates with each of us in the way we are willing to receive our message; it feels divine to me when Mother Nature captures my attention while in my garden.

An example of how nature nurtured me:

heart in natureHere’s a story of how Mother Nature nurtured me in my time of need.

One cold November evening, while I was cleaning up the kitchen after baking pies, my husband received a phone call that our two-year old granddaughter had been bitten in the face by the family dog.

My husband immediately left, telling me there had been an accident at their house and he would call me when he knew more. From the nature of his actions, I was clueless to the severity of it all. I think he was purposefully vague to avoid my being upset because he knew that my worst nightmare was that this dog would bite one of my young grandchildren.

After he arrived to their house and relayed details of the injury to me, my heart broke wide open.  She had several rips and tears all over her beautiful little face.  She required many stitches and her entire face was bruised and swollen and she sported two black eyes.

That was November 22, 2019, and it still brings a flood of tears, extreme emotions and heart rate fluctuations when I recall this moment. I cannot explain the sounds of horror that came out of me. I have never sounded like this in my life – even through experiences of painful childbirth or a horrific motorcycle accident.

Shock. Overwhelm. Anger. Fear. Frustration. This was beyond my comprehension. RAGE. I have never felt such intense flood of emotions in 53 years. It culminated in an uncontrollable emotional volcano eruption. I had been doing enough personal self-compassion work, that I knew I must express what I was feeling in the moment. My self-work had prepared me not to censor myself.  This emotional uprising mingled with all the grief and rage that had been repressed and accumulating during my life, and this was the moment I could no longer deny feeling or expressing any of it.

I had the sudden realization that my house was not big enough to hold me. It felt restricted and I felt like I was suffocating. I HAD to get outside to Mother Nature. I felt dangerously close to having a panic attack similar to one I had experienced before – one that had landed me in the hospital.

It was cold outside -which was a perfect receptacle for my white-hot rage. The night was crisp and clear; the vastness of the dark midnight blue of the sky felt like an accommodating space in which to express my pain. The unending dark, cold night was familiar with rage, I could sense it in my bones.  It brought me great comfort.

With tears streaming down my face and a force in my voice I had never known, I began to scream into the night sky. I yelled and wailed so primally that I was surprised my neighbors didn’t call the police. I expected the wolves to howl with me any minute. I sounded like an animal in great despair. I was in great despair.

I got on my knees, and I howled into the earth. Her unwavering solidness reassured me. I didn’t even feel the cold as I rolled onto my back, sending my cries of terror up into the night sky.  I couldn’t hold any of that inside of me.  I shared my rage with Nature, and she just held me while I expressed it.

It was as if the night opened in such a soft, delicate way; I felt absolutely held, heard and understood. In the midst of a very difficult moment, I had also experienced a sense of calm that I couldn’t explain. I finally caught my breath and started to feel a great sense relief from the extreme enormity of my feelings.

As I regained composure, the large grandmother tree in my back yard that stands beside my garden welcomed me with open arms. No judgement there. I walked over to her and leaned in as the emotions began to subside, feeling like they had been witnessed and held. She stood, having weathered her own storms, holding me, while I weathered one of my own, crying uncontrollably. I wasn’t alone. I could sense the importance of how my breath fuels her life, and how hers fuels mine.  There was no separation.

We are truly one with nature. There is no doubt in my mind of this fact.  Nurturing life experiences and interactions with nature are a common reality in my world.  This event, and others like it, have birthed a deep trust and knowing of the importance of my connection with nature, bringing a validation to the necessity of my relationship with Nature.

YOU, too, can have this deep, supportive relationship with Nature.  You must actively pursue it to experience it.

When you feel overwhelmed, stressed, worried or anxious, get out in nature.  If you feel grateful, joyful and appreciative, get out in nature.  You can engage from your window – but that’s more like observing nature.  To establish this connection, being IN nature brings the opportunity to connect deeply.  Interact with something:  a cloud, a tree, a leaf, a flower, an animal, moss, water, air…

Can you fathom the wind whispering secrets of peace and tranquility to you?  It will, if you listen.

Tune in to nature.  Feel her frequency.  You might need to close your eyes at first so your hearing can engage and capture which sound you will be drawn to.  Perhaps you open your eyes into the sun and soak up its warmth on your face, and the sun will guide you to what you need to see.  Did you smell something fascinating and new?  Maybe that is the lesson in this visit…  Relax in the knowing and understanding that Nature will receive you, open-armed.  You only need to set that intention, then mindfully Go to Nature.

You can do this in your own back yard, next to a creek or river, in a park or on a hike…  Go somewhere where you feel safe and comfortable and turn your cares over to her.  Share your feelings, bare your soul…  She will hold you.  Feel the weight of your body on the earth and how you are always held.  Always held.

The more you do this, the deeper your relationship will become and the more comfort you will experience as a result of that connection.  It is important to also do this in times of joy and gratitude.  We wouldn’t like it if our friends showed up only when they were experiencing their worst times.  Nature needs us to share our good times with her, too.  That is being in healthy relationship!

P.S.  My granddaughter recovered from her bite and is doing well.  There are more spiritual experiences I received as a result of the work I did around this event in our family.  Keep reading my blog if you’d like to learn more about how I dive into nature!

If you’re looking to begin or enhance your relationship with nature, head over to my Facebook Group, Language of Nature.  The group is a resource to read about, ask questions about or share spiritual nature experiences.

If you want to expand your relationship further, check out the Nature Retreats in the Gatherings section of my site.  I host personal and group outdoor nature retreats in my garden, nature-inspired sound baths in my sacred sound studio and nature-inspired rituals in both spaces.

Misty Pennington headshot in a light blue scarf

About the Author:  Misty is a lover of life, spiritual seeker and a celebrant of nature’s seasons and cycles.  The Garden of Common Ground inspires her creation of Nature Retreats, ceremonies, rituals and Sound Healings.   She is a wise Reiki Master who believes self-compassion is the key to living a happy life.