A Walk in the Woods Awakens the Soul

Find motivation and share hope

Original Photo by Author

Great things happen when I get out into nature, from a mental standpoint. There is a part of my brain that holds answers, insights, and creative ideas, and within that part of my brain is a treasure chest with a lock on it. The key to unlocking this particular box is found in nature.

Perhaps it’s the connection I find between the forests I walk and the stories I’ve read. J.R.R. Tolkien has been one of the biggest literary inspirations in life because of four books: The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These stories take you from the well-tended garden beds of the Shire to the desolate wastelands of Mordor, and everything in between. Through these stories, I have imagined the very landscapes I live near but enhanced. Therefore, one connecting point to nature is my connection to these stories.

Perhaps it’s the sensory sensations that come along with the feeling of being immersed in nature. It’s the smell of the trees, shrubs, flowers, and all other flora that bring healing through a deep inhale. It’s the sounds of the leaves, pine needles, rocks, and dirt crunching underfoot; and the trees quaking as the wind blows. It’s the feeling of that same wind pressing against me as I stand on the edge of a rock shelf, rushing over me to remind me that life is constantly moving.

There are sights of dense forest to sprawling mountaintop views. In the denseness of the forest, I become aware that I am entering into the territory of the wild. This place belongs to the creatures and the vegetation. As I take the final steps to the peak of the rock formations, I become aware of the grandness of the world as I realize how small I am.

What I have realized the most during this turbulent time for our world due to the COVID-19 outbreak is that all are not able to find this escape like I am. I realize that I live a privileged life, and I am blessed to have been led to this beautiful little town in the mountains so long ago. In my first 12 years of life, I was a city boy living in Lakewood, California, and though I spent a great amount of time outside, the forest and the mountains were not a part of my life. This time of physical distancing and stay at home orders is much different for those in city living, and to you, I would encourage you to find any little joy that sparks inspiration inside.

The forest and the mountains are where I live, and that is where I have learned to love. What can you learn to love? For any of you out there that are truly suffering during this time, hold on to hope, because hope will not disappoint if we cling to it. If you find yourself in a place like me where this time can turn into a blessing rather than a curse, let us together look for ways to bring hope to the hopeless.

A walk in the woods is a renewing escape for me, that gives me the motivation to carry on. If that is not an option for you, find another way that motivates you to carry on, do not invest in that which can bring you down. There are beautiful stories out there that can help us see our reality as something greater than it is. Look for stories that inspire and awaken your soul. Find some activity that awakens your soul.

We will make it through this life together if we commit to being bringers of hope.

5 thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods Awakens the Soul

  1. a shared lesson from my journey as it relates to Covid 19, nature, and isolation. I have been able to examine myself, how I interact in society and find pleasure in artificial stimulation. I thought, heck, I could do this for a while, I have a new video game and there are endless movies I can watch, even if I get bored I can start a hobby or put together a puzzle. I am really happy to have this time in isolation and focus on the things that I want, that please me. Today, I broke my routine of self indulgence and went outside to care for the few trees in my yard that have been neglected since I moved onto the property. I always thought I would care for the trees but was always too busy keeping up with my life. I realize now that my trees are sick. They need the care only a human can provide. If these trees are to flourish and reach a growth exceeding the capabilities of a mere neglected creation. What I found today was more than a purpose for myself or a sick tree that need care but an epiphany of understanding of God and Man. What if ‘man in His image wasn’t the great creation. What if the great creation was the natural world; the trees, the animals, birds. Could He have created man, in his image to care for His creation and help it flourish. If we all carried this understanding, wouldn’t we treat our fellow man as God himself. With a mutual love and understanding that our greater purpose is to care for the natural world around us, something that has been neglected for far too long? Don’t you feel closer to God when you are surrounded by the natural world?

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    • Thank you for that beautiful insight. Personally, I do feel that stepping into the presence of nature is joining in with the song of creation that sings out to God. I love your experience of serving creation in this time of sickness.

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  2. Entering the wild, or the forest, for me awakened my soul. I learned to tune into its Magic. If we spend enough time there we learn to see and hear in new ways unimaginable to those who have not had this opportunity.

    The first thing I noticed when I would take my daily runs in the forest near my home when my children were young was the singing of the trees as the wind swept through their pine needles. We ARE part of Nature, from the earth we sprung and to it shall we return one day. I find God’s Presence there easier than in a building. It becomes a cathedral for worship. Grounding or Earthing as it is also called, practiced daily brought incredible healing to mind and body, as well as some inner gifts that had not been experienced before.

    I love that you understand this so deeply. Thank you for sharing your insights with us!

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  3. I just wrote a lengthy comment that got lost.

    I appreciate your words about this connection between Nature and Humanity. Time spent in the forest has been one of the most significant experiences of my life. I used to take my runs there when my children were young, and gradually learned to see and hear differently. My soul awakened after spending many months walking, sitting and lying on the earth. My mind and body underwent incredible healing. I love that you understand this so well. Thank you for sharing your insights!

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