Swirling and dancing in the air, a tiny leaf lands softly on the ground. I’m mesmerized by all of my favourite shades of green on this one leaf, all merging into one another like water-coloured paint after it’s been spritzed with H20. How truly beautiful something so simple can be. I take a long, deep breath and consciously feel the dew-filled air and the sweet smell of pine enter my body. This breath feels familiar to me. I know I have arrived.
I was never raised to believe that a temple is where I needed to go in order to feel close and connected. Neither was I raised to repent my sins to people who are no different from me in that they follow the rules of being human. Just like me, they make mistakes and, just like me, they learn and grow from them.
I have always searched for a place in which I can feel safe and secure. A place where the only judgement placed on me is determined by how I act in this exact moment. A place where I am nothing but a small being in an incredibly vast earth. A place where I can disconnect from society, and reconnect the flow of my energy with the frequency of nature. Here, in my green temple, I am grounded and I am humbled.
In my green temple, the earth fills my soul with energy that only my creator can understand. Instead of walking through tall man-made pillars toward a place of man-made worship, I walk alongside strong and seasoned trees with decades of untapped wisdom embedded in their trunks. I walk into a holy place where the the leaves dance and whisper little affirmations of positivity every time the wind blows. As I walk along this path, my steps bounce from the never-ending layers of dead leaves and sediment below my feet: a reminder that there is so much more depth in life than what is experienced on the surface.
Here I learn lessons of forgiveness and triumph as moss grows best in the shade. I learn about living in the moment and recognizing small victories as tiny rays of sun miraculously make their way through the inconceivably thick and bushy forest, warming up my face. The tiny little ladybug that lands on my arm reminds me that no matter how vulnerable and isolated I feel, I am never alone.
Every day during my morning walk, I am encouraged by nature to feel, I am encouraged to reflect, and I am encouraged to continue growing today and every day. Through the always-open doors of my green temple, I find love. I find acceptance. I find peace.