Once the sun shined through the parting clouds I went for my two mile walk. When I started I reminded myself to pay attention to the trees, flowers, birds and everything nature has to offer. Otherwise I get distracted. I think of schedules to keep, people to call, bills to pay. If I’m not careful my walk will be over and I will realize I was too preoccupied to enjoy it.

As I approached Memorial Park I heard dozens of kids playing and shouting. I soon found out that students from St. Benedict’s Catholic school were there for an outing, playing games, tossing balls around and having fun in the sun and fresh air. I circled the park and headed home when I spotted a young man in his early twenties walking ahead of me texting on his I-phone.

It reminded me how divorced we are from nature. I also thought of those school kids, how they were divorced from it too even though they were playing and having a good time. We view nature as a place to go to have fun. But in reality it’s like a visit to a friend where we spend the entire time in self centered conversation instead of asking how our friend is doing.

We need to spend more time watching and listening to nature; silently noting what is happening, what animals are there and what they are doing. Let’s feel the breeze touch our skin; smell the freshness of the grass; see the plants, trees and colorful flowers; touch the bark on that huge tree by the fence. And while we’re there we need to hear the call of the chickadee, the cardinal, the red winged blackbird perched on the marshy grasses by the railroad tracks, and sometimes, if we are fortunate, we will hear the screech of the red tailed hawk and look up to watch it circle high above our heads.

How will we understand Mother Nature’s language if we don’t take time to learn it?