We are surrounded by beauty at St. Scholastica. Whether in our buildings or outside on the campus grounds, even the most unobservant person can’t help but notice the beauty.
I especially appreciate the beauty of our undeveloped woodlands filled with trees and flowers, creeping things and animals. It is an absolute joy, no matter the season, to walk the trails.
In the winter, I love a walk in the woods and being the first human to leave tracks in the new fallen snow. In the spring, I love a walk in the woods and seeing the beginnings of new life burst forth from the stark land. In the summer, I love a walk in the woods and experiencing the abundance of nature with all its colors and creatures. In the fall, I love a walk in the woods to witness the cycle of life as leaves fall and flowers fade.
We all know that a walk in the woods is good exercise but it also refuels our mind, spirit, and soul. Meandering in the woods, slowing down and becoming enveloped in the natural environment brings us to our whole-selves.
The Japanese have a name for the experience of well-being in nature. They call it shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Don’t worry, forest bathing isn’t really taking a bath. It is being immersed in the beauty of creation and being wrapped in all the blessings of God.
Creation captures our heart because it is formed by God. It is not the product of happenstance or chance. It flows from God’s love and God’s desire to share His being, life, and goodness with us.
By enjoying what God has created, we are enjoying God. By loving what God has created, we are loving God. Think about that the next time you take a walk in the woods!
Sister Lisa, her mom, and niece enjoy a walk in the St. Scholastica woods.