Nature’s comfort
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - June 22, 2019 - 12:00am

A few hours of visit to naturally-beautiful Bohol, with dear friend Delfin Espiritu and his relatives, Soledad Espiritu and Cora Baquir from Australia, led to this reflection.

One need not travel far to rest from the daily routine. Definitely, one should take time to pamper one’s self, relax, savor the moment, smile and be reminded that although life may have its challenges and difficulties, all around us are simple happy delights to soothe one’s heart, one’s soul.

Sweet, happy memories are always available to all of us at any time. One can turn off all unpleasant, painful thoughts and think love, think peace.

Easier said than done, though. A thousand and one thoughts cram and compete to crowd one’s mind. How to shut off the negativities and welcome the positive instead?

Slowly breathe in, then slowly breathe out. Inhale slowly, then exhale just as slowly, releasing your breath as deeply as you can. Repeat the process. Then start to meditate, focus, and commune with yourself, with God.

Learning to understand the different types of breathing can allow one to go beyond pain and stress, to relief, comfort, and peace. Oh, the simple gift and comfort of breath.

Taking time to move and do easy exercises can also allow one to relax and enjoy. Simple walking each day can be delightful. One can do this indoors or outdoors. Walking can also be a spiritual exercise as one can pray and complete one rosary while walking. A few minutes of walking allows one to commune with a wider world beyond oneself.

Stopping to smell flowers, appreciate nature’s colors, the feel of soil, the joy of seeing butterflies and bees and listening to happy chirping birds take one’s mind off trouble to soak in nature’s free delights!

One can shift to relax and rest with travel as well. If one rides a ship, one is comforted by the peaceful waters and a wider world! If one takes a plane, the clouds and panoramic view offer a restful haven up in the skies!

The seas and oceans as well as the skies and the universe offer so much more than our present knowledge and understanding. There is so much more to give attention to than just the present or regular issues and concerns experienced daily. We need not be limited and imprisoned by our narrow world. Nature has so much to offer us each moment, each day!

We are, however, restricted to go and see beyond our small world.

Social inequality allots wider spaces for the powerful and privileged while the poor don’t even have any homes or spaces of their own. Marginalization alienates human beings from their own essence, their social world, and from their physical natural environment.

Feeling imprisoned within an oppressive, unequal social world, people forget even their own humanity. They also forget how to comfort themselves. They completely fail to appreciate and enjoy God’s creations that include precious friends and nature’s free, simple, but beautiful and delightful gifts.

May we all allow ourselves to go beyond ourselves, our minds, and our world and relish the simple, free joys and delights of God’s creations, including the gifts of rest, and comfort from friends and nature!

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