Earth is an enjoyable place to live. I have lived all of my 63 + years here…and have every anticipation that I will live the remainder of my days on our brilliant blue globe. I love nature. I take a nature walk every day. I am enthralled by water. When I travel to Destin, Florida I can literally sit and watch the Gulf for hours. Around our house is an abundance of nature’s sounds. Among the sounds are birds singing and frogs croaking. We currently have a lost goose in our yard and a great blue heron who is eyeing him suspiciously. We have a busy beaver in our pond who travels back and forth across our lane to forage for dam building materials.
We are constructed from the earth. There is a reason that we feel one with nature…we are nature. On a few rare occasions I have been in fellowship with deer in our Campus woods. I have been close enough to touch them. I did not feel like the supreme mammal in the mix…but rather I felt humbled that they allowed me to visit with them in their home.
Pounds Hollow was my sanctuary when I was a boy. Mom loved to swim and so did I. She drove me and often my cousin Brenda to the happy place…three or four times a week in the summer. At times my buddy Jackie Brooks would accompany us. Mom always cautioned me that water moccasin snakes were in the water and therefore not to swim out beyond the ropes that illustrated where the shallow water ended and the deep water began. I was not a strong swimmer…but I could float like a beach ball. Soon I was floating into the deep and all the way to the other shore. It was exciting and exhilarating and I felt like an explorer. There is a peaceful tranquility to floating…with your ears under the water and drifting out beyond all other human life. Life’s problems seem so small when you are surrounded by the vastness of earth’s abundant water.
Nature is there for us when all of the accolades of career accomplishments have faded. The earth welcomes us when it seems like our friends have forsaken us. When I was looking at the deer in his big brown eyes…he seemed to be saying, ‘How are you,’ and I replied, ‘I am fine…here with you…’
Heaven is the dream of many faith communities. Heaven is a beautiful concept but as of yet I have not spoken with anyone who has personally seen it. I do know many people who have witnessed heaven on earth. From the majesty of spring blossoms and new life…to the beauty of new fallen snow and a winter’s landscape. We humans came from the earth and to the earth we will return. Our home has incomprehensible mesmerizing beauty. I walk the campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale on a daily basis. I know that my friends must think why does Jay take the same photographs over and over again? I see something different in nature…every time that I look at it. It is a gift that keeps on giving.
Nature is a cup that I can not stop drinking of…and I never get my fill…
I still love floating into the deep water…