Whether BOFAW-Fb viewers have noticed or not, we have been engaged in a delightful game of “spiritual ping-pong” with NatureIsUs. We serve up our best photo, poem or quotation to pique or excite their love of Nature and they respond with a dazzling photo worth 10,000 words. It is a heavenly game because everyone wins, hopefully our viewers included. Here is an example.
The following piece was inspired by the beautiful NIU photo (and quote) of a Yosemite bridge.
For the spiritually complacent, Yosemite National Park is no less fantastic than the Wonderland that Alice explored. It graciously offers over 800 miles of trails that contain an infinite array of physical, mental and spiritual, “windows,” “walls” and “bridges.” Integrating these is like keeping “9” bowling pins in the air. :o) Windows into the soul of man, 4000 ft. high granite walls that make man’s greatest cathedrals look Lilliputian, and bridges that carry man’s body, mind and spirit to soaring heights. Any trail will do, but three offer jaw-dropping views. Hiking along Yosemite Falls Trail, the 4-mile Trail, or Panorama Trail is like looking through a “3 D” View Master with and endless number of micro and macro-views of Nature.
As a biology teacher I was deeply concerned by the sharp increase of drug and alcohol abuse among the students I was working with. Early in my career I attended a “substance abuse” seminar in hopes of finding ways to thoughtfully approach the problem. I was given a syllabus that included the following brief essay. It was developed by young substance abusers in hopes of helping other abusers regain sobriety.
“Once you see, you understand. And once you understand, you open up and reach out. Or try to, anyway; that’s what windows are for, that’s why we tear down walls.
But to get from here to there, to make contact, you need a bridge. To be connected to someone, to be tied into someone else’s life and joys and frustrations, to be a part of what the other person is, takes a bridge.
A relationship is a bridge connecting two people. It’s built on trust, openness, understanding, respect, care, approval, judgment, maybe love. It is probably the strongest bridge we have ever known—it can support and sustain life. Crossing over it means being able to do things, feel things that you just can’t do if you stay on your side, alone.”
This brief, yet powerful, message resonated deeply with most Biodesigners as well as many other students. It has been an awesome privilege for NatureIsUs to reach out and welcome us across their bridge. We have entered their “Wonderland,” that the Greeks call, Agape; love that transcends bodies, and minds, and is purely spiritual. Although it is not physical, or mental, thinking about it gives me goose bumps. Could this mean that the triad of physical, mental and spiritual is the quintessential example of three separate, yet complementary, facets of being human?
Nature focused Face book pages and websites seem to be interested in sharing the beauty and wonder of the natural world. Perhaps, they are subliminally involved with creating mental and spirit bridges.