Nature references everything that the natural world means to me. Nature is...Mother Earth, God, perfect balance, the cyclic nature of growing and dying and growing again, the ebb and flow of carbon dioxide and oxygen between flora and fauna as we breathe each other's breath. Nature is my childhood in the woods, playing in creeks and interacting with all the life I found there. I have always felt a deep kinship with living things and do not ever recall feeling superior to any other living being.

As a child, I often slept outside waiting for comets and meteor showers, wondering about galaxies and where I fit into the whole scheme of it all. Before drifting off to sleep, I often put birdseed on my sleeping bag in anticipation of a morning visit from a squirrel or wren. I was never disappointed.

My mother modeled gentle stewardship in her catch-and-release (rather than kill) ethic with house spiders, wasps, field mice and any other critters who unwittingly found themselves in our home. My instinct towards curiosity and respect for the natural world grew out of my mother's and grandmother's reverence of Nature. My relationship to Nature is also imbued with my grandmother's depression-era frugality (use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without) and her Quaker simplicity.

I regard the natural world and its resources with reverence and respect. Nature is the balance, the spirit/soul/life-force within us all. We are all interconnected in our shared carbon/our shared dependance on the sun's energy and on the continuity of it all.

Nature is the true sublime.