This summer, my daughter and I shared an extraordinary week-long camping experience. There’s not a lot of words yet for what I feel. I can only offer feelings from my heart. The heart speaks in non-verbal ways – how to communicate that in a blog?

I can share images, experiences that touched me. The sound of a single bird would wake me at 5:30, gradually followed by other birds. The opening to my tent faced east, and on clear days, I’d see the rays of light beaming through the redwood trees across the large field we had our village gatherings in. On foggy mornings, we’d hear the drip-drip-drip of moisture from the redwood branches fall on our tent. My daughter and I would rise at 6, dress and join the handful of early-birds to sing the wake-up songs for the camp.

One day, I took off my shoes and socks, and scaled a hillside barefoot with my clan members, stealthily surrounding another clan to surprise them. I felt alive, like a child, full of the joy of adventure and play.

And tears streamed down my face as the teens returned to the village, victorious after their 2 night backpacking excursion into the wilderness, all of us singing and drumming at the tops of our voices to celebrate their rite of passage. How much I longed for every child to experience this transformation.

This trip was the first time in over 20 years that I have spent more than a night in a tent, sleeping on the ground. More importantly, it was a week-long program designed to deepen my connection to nature and a sense of community, and indeed, it filled those places in me – the longing to connect to others, and the longing to connect to our natural world.

It reflected to me again my calling, my sense of the compelling need in our society for authentic, real connection to our own selves, each other, our planet, and Spirit. I feel ever more moved to create spiritual communities that are nourishing each of us on these levels.

As I did, step out into nature and connect to it from your heart. Let it nourish you, and soothe the soft longing for deep connection. From that place, you need no words to speak from the heart.


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