Spirituality and Nature

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Spirituality and Nature Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding, you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. (Psalm 148:7-12) When considering the reading that we have done so far in class I am struck by the relationship that is drawn in many of them, between the appreciation of nature and spirituality. While I am not a Christian in the typical sense there is still no doubt in my mind that there is a benevolent and loving higher power, whatever its name may be. What reason do I have to say this? For me, like Wordsworth in "Tintern Abbey", and like Radcliffe's Emily, I feel a connection with a higher power in my own interactions with nature. There is no other place in which I feel God more strongly than in the natural world around me. Last summer, working on my aunt and uncle's farm, I would have moments early in the morning, working in crisp air under a light blue textured sky, in which I would be overcome with feelings of insignificance in the face of such vastness. Another moment that stands out in my memory is walking in the valley between Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh as a snow storm visibly moves over the top of the Seat and down into the valley around me, evoking feelings that I can only characterize as sublime. The experience, of which the prior are only two examples, makes my problems cease to matter and makes me feel connected somehow to an ineffable, eternal and co... ... middle of paper ... ... is a personal and subjective phenomenon that to me involves spiritual reflection and the feeling of being part of something much bigger than myself. The feeling is one that is valuable to me, the understanding of myself as a spiritual person and the understanding of my relation to the world around me. Based on my own experience, I will continue to believe that "God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what he has made, so that men are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). Works Cited Radcliffe, Ann. The Mysteries of Udolpho. Ed. Jacqueline Howard. London: Penguin Books, 2001. The Student Bible, New International Version. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996. Wordsworth, William. "Tintern Abbey". Romanticism. 2nd ed. Ed. Duncan Wu. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing, 1998.
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