nature

nature

BY Parker J. Palmer June 29, 2016

The enduring beauty of nature can be a comfort, but sometimes our pain needs a more empathetic salve. Parker Palmer turns to the unique, healing power of language in times of darkness and hardship.

BY Sarah Smarsh June 07, 2016

When we over do the things we love, sometimes the solution isn't to do less or more but to do it differently. Sarah Smarsh reflects on treasuring the method of running over the measurement of it — and learning to scramble and splash with intention.

BY Omid Safi June 02, 2016

Inspired by a beautiful hike in the Swiss mountains, Omid Safi with a meditation on the jaggedness of our hearts' stones, then and now. And some photos to illustrate it.

BY Jackson Culpepper May 15, 2016

Glory and beauty are co-opted by our catalogues. A photo-essay deglosses the primordial glory of the natural world to find the stuff of deeper life.

BY Christine Cleary May 02, 2016

Nature cannot erase grief, but makes it easier to bear. A woman holds fleeting memories of familial warmth as she visits mid-coast Maine, and finds solace in the brave journey of the alewives from sea to lake and back again.

BY Trent Gilliss April 26, 2016

We lost a beloved cultural icon last week, and his life of work has inspired an outpouring of love in music and story. Celebrations of Prince's life accompany praise for standing up together, in support of our strengths and growth from moments of weakness.

BY Meridian Johnson April 22, 2016

From John Muir and Wendell Berry to Henry David Thoreau, a celebration of the earth through a granddaughter's memory and the writers who love it — paired with gorgeous aerial photography.

BY Parker J. Palmer March 29, 2016

The beauty of spring is as much in its muddiness as in its blooms. An encouragement to revel in the dance of mess and lavishness in this most colorful season.

BY Katrina Kenison March 28, 2016

When the demands of daily life drain us, a respite in solitude is exactly what we need. A testament to the power of aloneness to reconnect us with the steady sense of self we lose.

BY Omid Safi February 11, 2016

After a stint in the rain, our columnist comes to appreciate a new orientation to gray days, both in meteorology and in life.

BY Omid Safi January 28, 2016

If there's one thing winter teaches its humbled residents, it's that gratitude begins before the snow falls and happiness finds new heart in the thaw.

BY Trent Gilliss January 26, 2016

The catharsis of living up to challenge, in all walks of life — essays on powering through the hardest miles in a marathon to facing a crowd of unfamiliar strangers, to reckoning with one's best and worst selves while reflecting in the solitude of the woods.

BY Parker J. Palmer January 20, 2016

On a retreat at a cabin in the northern woods of Wisconsin, Parker Palmer strings together pearls of contemplation on silence and solitude. With the help of Merton and Rumi, he finds the catharsis of being forced to reckon with one's angels and demons.

BY Trent Gilliss January 12, 2016

What happens when we open ourselves to the gift of vulnerability? Profound voices on public displays of emotion in politics, the making of identity, the inspiration of wilderness, and advice from a classical pianist on pursuing what moves you and being glad in others' good fortunes.

BY Trent Gilliss January 03, 2016

A gorgeous, inspiring video showcasing vast tracts of wilderness coupled with powerful words from Emerson, Muir, Stegner, and other icons of conservation and appreciation.

BY Omid Safi December 31, 2015

Untamed, wild beauty kindles a yearning and an awe that few man-made structures can, even the most sacred churches, mosques, or temples. Our resident bard with a praise song for the wide open spaces that beckon us to open our hearts to all people and things before us.

BY Parker J. Palmer December 02, 2015

Nearly 30,000 delegates from 200 nations are in Paris talking about climate change this week. Parker Palmer encourages us to open our eyes to the beauty with a poem and a challenge.

BY Mary Oliver October 16, 2015

A poem for the passing of summer, a song for the shadow, and an invocation for attention.

BY Mary Oliver October 14, 2015

A requiem for the holiness that's visible — in the trees, the mountains, and the rivers. Permission to lean into wonder and to linger in beauty incarnate.

BY Elizabeth Ayres September 07, 2015

Scientists say there is no such thing as an objective observer. One poet celebrates the participatory, interactive, relational aspects of reality with poetry inspired by John Keats.

BY Parker J. Palmer September 02, 2015

Each summer, our columnist has been making a pilgrimage to one of nature's great treasures: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In his twilight years, he ponders the resurrection that takes place under the most destructive circumstances and the "vast web of life in which body and spirit are one."

BY Tom Jablonski August 15, 2015

What gives our lives significance? In a small patch of wilderness, one man searches for meaning and finds sanctuaries for life for creation, and for what life could be.

BY Annie Rosenbauer August 14, 2015

As a society, we tend not to prioritize silence. When we take a moment to listen and to notice, we make space to be amazed. A meditation on silence, slowing down, and paying attention to allow us to be astonished and the people we want to be.

BY Muhammad Asadi August 09, 2015

Dogs and humans have lived alongside each other for thousands of years. Could it be that each species has impacted the evolution of the other? And could dogs be an essential element in human self-actualization?

BY Elizabeth Ayres August 02, 2015

Spirit intersects matter everywhere. A poet living in Chesapeake Bay meditates on the sacredness of location and the sense of place reinstated after returning to her childhood landscape.

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