Communing with Nature

When I went to France last Summer in August, one of the items on our itinerary was hiking in the St. Maximim forest which is near the Sainte-Baume mountains (a basilica dedicated to Mary Magdalene is there). Our task was to commune with nature on our own and share our experience with the group afterwards.

hikingAlthough it was hot and humid, I was happy I brought along a hooded sweater to cover myself from being bit from insects. Oh boy, were they swarming around.

One by one, we each went off the beaten path alone.  As I was trekking through the ancient trees and worn away stones I found an old tree lying on the ground, with its rugged bark that perhaps bore witness to years of solitude, joy, and pain of our beautiful planet. Brushing away cold earth and leaves from the tree, I sat on it. My hands felt the rough and coarse bark, like the thick lines and wrinkles of father time.



Each tree was majestic in size, each taller and grander than the next, reaching towards the sky. I smelled the moisture in the air. I heard the leaves crackling under my feet. I made sure I didn’t disturb the earth much, since many crawling insects, centipedes, ants, worms, etc. were around and I felt I was intruding on their turf.

As I looked around, I let out a huge sigh. I felt at peace surrounded by large trees, shrubs and wood plants, boulders, different species of insects and butterflies, all of which they call home. Light danced off the rocks.

With my eyes closed, I listened to the beautiful symphony of the forest creatures, the birds singing their tunes. I smelled the natural scent of the earth beneath me. I embraced the moment and felt my senses expand. The suns’ rays were on my face; feeling it’s warmth I smiled wide.

I felt small in comparison to all that was around. All of nature was much alive and felt they were communicating.

Before I headed out to meet the others for lunch, I stopped at the entrance/exit and snapped a selfie (without my hooded sweater 🙂 ). I was humbled by the experience.


50 thoughts on “Communing with Nature

  1. Awesome blog post! France sounds so peaceful and tranquil. You described it so vividly and it looks like you got good weather as well. 🙂

      1. So picturesque! 🇳🇱 I want to be there. The French locals are well known for their character, wit and charm. As I’m writing this comment, I’m standing at a cold train station near Edinburgh. It’s freezing! 💦But I’m thinking about your brilliant blog post dreaming about warmer French weather. 🌞

  2. A beautiful place. It reminds me of a place I lived in called ville de lance in grenoble…breathtaking

  3. This was great and so true in how small we all are. So many of us are busy in our own worlds that we forget to stop and see what is actually happening around us. You did just that. I would love to go to France someday and do what you just did. So jealous. 🙂

  4. This is beautiful, Bernice! It sounds like a profound experience for you.
    Nature is such an opening to peace, isn’t it? How did you like the Basilica of Mother Mary?

    Blessings to you. Happy Sunday! 🙂

    1. Hi Debbie. Happy Sunday!! The church was beautiful and the architecture was amazing however seeing the relics of Mary Magdalene encased behind a glass – her skull was dark and marble like – it threw me off. I didn’t know what to expect though. I didn’t stay in the small room long.

      1. Oh my gosh, yes I can understand that Bernice!!

        You know, I was going through my coaching files, and I came across notes from our session together. You are amazing. Know, I’m so supporting you on your heart-felt intentions and goals for yourself. 🙂
        Blessings and loving to you,

  5. It’s the adventure I’ve been longing for during these cold winter months in the far north. Nothing beats nature, what a soul-comforting trip, Bernice! You look great on the photo. 😊🌸

      1. We can enter the zone anytime we wish by closing our eyes and listening; just as you said! You’ve brought me a step closer to understanding how yesterday Bernice, thank you! Le grà, Marie xx

    1. It was special. Aside from the forest, as a group, we visited the basilica of Saint-Maximin which houses the relics of Mary Magdalene. So many people from around the world were there. Profound.

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