Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

A Spiritual Connection to Nature

 by Julie Hanus

Tags: spirituality, faith, meditation, environmentalism, turtles, Rick Bass, Shambhala Sun,

a baby painted turtleThe intersection of spirituality and environmentalism is somewhere in Idaho—on a gravel road where a painted turtle is trudging across, making her way from one marsh to another. “My spirits soared,” Rick Bass writes in Shambhala Sun, “at the life-affirming tenacity of her journey, her crossing, as well at this most physical manifestation that indeed the back of winter was broken; for here, exhumed once again by the warm breath of the awakening earth, was the most primitive vertebrate still among us.”

Here’s to that awakening earth, and all the surging, ecstatic feelings it can conjure. For as much time as we might spend talking (and listening, reading, and thinking) about the need to protect the earth, to save our fragile, damaged world: We need to connect with it too. For Bass, it’s all in one: “For me, activism is a form of prayer, a way of paying back some small fraction of the blessing that the wilderness is to me.”

Source: Shambhala Sun

Image by Pvt. Pondscum, licensed under Creative Commons.