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Nature is the New “Church”

Since living in New York, I have come across many different spiritual ideologies. Some of them I’ve sought out, some of them have found me. I have explored everything from Christianity (which is the religion I grew up in) to Gnostic Christianity, to Nation of Islam to Orthodox Islam, to Atheism to Buddhism, from New Ageism to Kemeticism, even looking up the virtues of Satanism and Black Magick.

It’s funny, I believe everything, every event, every thought, every whim has a spiritual root or is somehow divine, and so I have to say that even me arriving to live in NYC was a sort of divine synchronicity. I went to school here for one year and studied Theater, or at least, that was my major (I didn’t study much theater, I was too busy experiencing my life as one big performance). Then at the end of the school year I realized that I didn’t do anything during the year to secure my stay in the city. But boy, did I want to stay. I made friends that I didn’t wanna lose contact with, and I was building my dreams in the best place in the world. I tried to get a job at a restaurant as a hostess, and I totally blew the interview: I went out the night before and didn’t arrive until about an hour after it was supposed to start. It didn’t matter much though, an older guy who I was talking to at the time reassured me that he had made many mistakes as a younger man, I was only 18, and he told me if I really wanted to be here, I could still make it happen. I ended up going home anyway, because my parents couldn’t afford any summer classes, and I had a great aunt who wouldn’t let me stay with her either. Strangely enough (and this is why I stress patience and allowing in my life more than ever), God had a plan for me. All I could think about was living in New York permanently (although now I know nothing is permanent in this life) and soon I got my chance to see if I could really survive here on my own.

One day I went to a party with my sister, and a girl started to talk to me. I exchanged numbers with her, (even though I wasn’t into women at the time and I STILL am not into masculine women today) and over the next few days proceeded to talk her ear off on the phone. Somehow, my sister ended up talking to her. It just made more sense. One day, on the way to the girl’s house to hang out, my sister and I got into a car accident, in which someone rear ended her. We settled and our award was $1300. We split the money and went to a little physical therapy at a chiropractor’s office 3 times a week for the whiplash. It took a while for us to get our money, and in the meantime, I began talking on the phone with a guy who I went to college with. We always meant to hang out while we were in school but we never did. We talked for hours on the phone several times a week, and he told me a lot about his tumultuous childhood. He had been abandoned as a young boy in Nigeria, blah blah blah. He hated his Mom and believed all women who cheat should die. He called his last female roommate many names and labeled her a crackhead. He even called me one night to confess to me that he had thrown her up against the wall. When I was less than supportive, not judgmental but not particularly understanding why he would call me, he got upset and hung up on me. All red flags, I know now, but back then, nothing would stop me from living my dream. He and the girl were on bad terms, she moved out, they had a sexual relationship, me and him were more like brother and sister. I took my half of the settlement money, $650, and moved in the 2 bedroom apt with him. I moved out by the end of the month, but the events that transpired there is another story. (I’m writing a book.)

It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. During my pee break just now, I realized that I didn’t become a woman until about the age of 27 (now). I know that it’s a gradual process, and there are several epiphanies along the way to becoming a full blown woman or man or transgender person. But I really had been thinking like a girl even up until a few months ago. Over the years I have been initiated into new information that has helped me open my eyes in so many ways and has helped me see that I have so much power and responsibility over creating my life. They say a man defines his growth by his work life, and a woman defines the different periods in her life by the relationships she has. In my evolution, I have found this to be true. The most important relationship through all of this has been the one with myself, and I’ve been working on the one with God. (Is there a difference? Hmmmm…)

When I prayed about moving back to NYC, I made a deal with God. I promised that I would go to church if “he” could make this move happen. For about 8 years I didn’t step foot inside of one. I joined one in 2010 and I go a few times a year, when I get inspired. But lately, as a result of me seeking the truth about life and love, and following the path beaten centuries ago, I came across some rituals and ceremonies that totally align with where I’m at right now, to integrate my spirit self with my human, and to be more connected to the Earth. This is what led me to write this on the night of the last eclipse. Nature and I are really getting cozy.

I have realized my church now is nature. I was determined to see this eclipse tonight, but where I live you can’t see any stars, nor the moon. So I proceeded to go to the river. This is what I felt; my interpretation. I feel the need to make that very clear disclaimer, even though I shouldn’t have to.

At first I looked for the moon and it wasn’t there so I just walked and prayed to the water, thanking her, thanking God, acknowledging that it’s all one, and I got into that space. I was full of gratitude. After I prayed I kind of went into a trance for a minute and felt a strong pressure in my third eye. I didn’t quite leave my body or anything, but I felt more aware after that.

Then I felt led to go to the place where I buried my list of 10 things I wanted to manifest in the ground. I prayed that it would grow like a tree as I laid hands over it and spoke my intentions into it. I went to the trees and I acknowledged their beauty and all they give and the fact that they are living creatures. They DO have feelings and they CAN communicate with us. They feel nurturing to us, in a service kind of way, kind of like maternal. Trees, plants shrubs are very feminine creatures. They said they do not feel pain like we do, yet when someone scratches their name into them, they take it as a loss. They see us as children who do not know what to do with them, or do not know how smart they are. They said they are rarely violent, but do we think they don’t fall on houses on purpose during hurricanes? Hmmm (smile). They also have different “personalities.” I feel like different shrubs and trees’ temperaments match how they look. They also expressed to me that they like for us to touch them, caress them, just like a pet, but not peel their bark haphazardly and break branches as such. If we are using their wood or other parts for use, it’s not like they’re like “Yay!” but they see it as a sacrifice for the common good. Like I said, trees are very maternal in that way.

So that’s what I came away with. And I felt so connected with nature after that. Nature is my new “church.”

P.S.: Long ago when I considered getting inked, I thought of getting “nature girl” tatooed on my ass, with a nude picture of me laying in grass or something. It’s still an option.

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10 thoughts on “Nature is the New “Church”

  1. Pingback: Peace in the Midst of the Storm « Helese TALKS!

  2. Samuel J. Martin III says:

    “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

    “In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground, — my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, — all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part and parcel of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintences, master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” ~ George Washington Carver

    “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” ~ Author unknown, commonly attributed to Martin Luther

    “I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

  3. rahmi says:

    [exhaling] Man…when I come across things that resonate I usually take a breath, exhale and release all of what’s within that what I’ve just experienced has cleansed. I see comments from only women which I suppose should be expected, probably…but I’m a man and I’ve been saying “the park/nature is my sanctuary” for a minute now. It’s cool to come across some others who see it in the same way(s). Not that I ever thought I wouldn’t or that it was “weird” (I mean, what’s that? – well, on second thought, I guess there is a place for it in Infinite-ness~weird-ness, that is) but it was something I didn’t readily advertise…at first. Having been a skeptic of Christianity & most religions since a young child even though I was heavily immersed in a household full of religiosity (“Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair”…lol), I’ve never felt – on the inside – that attending these corner “structures” was mandatory to Love or even know The ALL-Oneness (God, Allah, The Creator, Universe, etc.). The Free-ity, the Connection I feel while in Nature is/can be a church…a service to Self (and others)…to Mother Self…one where I don’t have to iron somethin’ to look decent enough to be welcomed…I’m accepted as I Am around the dirt, water and grass…and while there are some structures that honor service in that way as well…the things we most often go to a church seeking to find can actually be found [so much easier sometimes] in that open space…at least it’s been my experience.

    As for the trees, seems like they spoke thru you. If we only knew how much they speak to us. I’ve got a lot more listening to do.

  4. wow…words can’t express how much I relate. I feel ‘lost’ in the sense of..I’m still trying to figure out my belief system. Or maybe I should clarify, I do believe in Christianity but not in the clearcut, mainstream way I used to believe in it. And it’s kind of scary because I’m wondering what kind of person I’m becoming. Something that used to be (and still is) so important to me and essentially who I was. I’ve been delving into meditation practices and trying to understand chakra energy. I’ve also been hopping to different churches of different denominations, but I still can’t shake that feeling of disenfranchisement with the ‘church’ and the way the Bible is interpreted today. I guess I should just ‘let go’ and explore.

    • Trust your inner voice and go with it. It takes a while to break from the mental chains, and then you find out that there are more. I went through the phase you are going through now.

  5. I love this. It’s very true. There is something really healing and incredible about listening to God under the stars, a full moon or during a run.

    • This is true. You know I was reading something the other day about the natural grid lines in the Earth, and how we become disconnected from them when we live in a city, bc the natural landscape has been destroyed and the city has its OWN grid lines. This is the reason for the disconnect from spirit as well…there is spirit in all living things, including nature.

    • It’s healing and I do it when I can. What’s interesting is that different trees have different personalities. I just met one the other day that said she LOVES to be touched, which is why she dips her leaves into the nearby pond. She was a vain one. Or maybe she was just desperate to be Loved.

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