Marian’s  Blog

Discover practical wisdom and heartfelt stories from a lifelong educator. Dive into reflections on teaching, nature, and spirituality. Explore the essence of resilience and interconnectedness through insightful encounters and teachings. Join my journey of growth and inspiration.

December 11, 2018

Our Love and Our Peaceful Places

I have always been a star gazer… a cloud watcher… a dreamer… Many years ago I began taking photographs when I was on a walk or had some occasion to be out in nature. I would carry a camera with me and often took pictures of trees and clouds and beautiful scenery. Sometimes I was spending time in prayer and reflection, and other times I was just pointing the camera and snapping pictures… On these occasions I often had to wait until I got the pictures developed (for some of you that will be a foreign concept😊). It was not until the photograph was developed that I would find amazing visuals within the pictures.

I have always enjoyed finding pictures in the clouds. I have seen everything from elephants to angels and I am always grateful for the experience. One day I was with my six year old granddaughter and the sky was especially blue and the clouds were a beautiful puffy white as they floated by their expansive deck overlooking miles of countryside. I pointed out a couple of clouds and we talked about the shapes and had some fun looking for animals and other items. As we stood there, she said in a contemplative tone, “It’s so inspiring.” I felt a warmth and expansion in my heart that I can’t really explain. I felt such love and reverence…

Another time, she came to me with a heart rock that she had found. I was amazed… I had shown her my collection of heart rocks and she was now noticing the shapes in nature. These were galvanizing moments for me. Yes… children can see and feel the miracles of nature when their attention is steered in that direction.

It is my hope that children will begin to notice their environment from a little different perspective and that they can continue to look at the world with wide-eyed wonder and enthusiasm. As a society, we have many things in common and we have challenges and varied experiences, but it is my hope that we can focus on our commonalities, our universal hopes and dreams, our love and our peaceful places.

Dr. Miller explains this in her book, The Spiritual Child

Bring the living world to your child by delighting in the relationships of nature. Live with animals, whether as indoor pets or familiar outdoor ”neighbors” you come to know. Talk with animals. Actively engage in the sanctification of nature by openly celebrating it and its contribution to your family and the world we live in. Listening to trees, thinking that the wind has something to show you, knowing that the weather is not separate from who we are: part of the universal oneness is having respectful and loving relationships with nature and animals. Children can learn that all living things are our teachers; we can learn from their wisdom, judgment and sensibilities. Lisa Miller, PhD. (341)

As Joan Chittister, OSB, reminds us…

A true spirituality of creation, one that does not see creation as a single finished point in time, gives us the right to grow. It implies not only a God who made us, but a God who is with us, in us, and in everything around us. Whoever we are, whatever we are, this God knows us, understands us, walks with us to the melting point where what we are and what God is become one. — Joan Chittister, OSB, (196)

I would love to hear about your experiences with my book series and the conversations that were inspired by sharing and reading together.

Give your children long peaceful moments to know firsthand a relationship with nature. Lisa Miller, PhD. (341)

May each of us find time to ponder our surroundings and our natural environment… to feel the breath of Love in our lives and to allow peace to enfold us.

Chittister, J. D. (2004). Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir. Sheed and Ward Publications, NY.

Miller, L. (2015) The Spiritual Child: The New Science of Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving.
St. Martin’s Press, NY.