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It had been almost a year since I had the opportunity to walk some of my favorite nature trails close to my workplace. The work-from-home life-change had disrupted my almost daily visits to the rivers, bridges and forest spaces of renewal.

All of that changed in an instant this past week, as I took some time off to ‘return to work.’ The work of visiting with some of my ‘best friends’ and checking on their health. It was a wonderful return, a visit that reminded me of how much I had missed this essential part of my spiritual practice.

The trails are the type of friends who never ask you how long you’ve been gone – they just welcome you back with open arms. This felt true about the section of the river that was in spate after the recent rains, as also the section where a mother and her toddler were soaking their toes in its quiet flow under a bridge.

The welcome felt true about the narrow fisherman’s trail where the dense over-growth grabbed your ankles as you walked by, and the tall oaks invited you to hug them in the wide clearings. An hour and a half later, playing and visiting with the damp earth, waters and river beds, clouds in the sky, sunlight among trees, and the ‘ether’ that flows warmth from nature’s heart to mine, I felt while again.

I realized that this is the part of ‘coming to work’ that I had truly missed over the past year. I realized that the daily connection to nature plants seeds of contentment, which grow into branches of calmness and the leaves compassion. Courage and clarity are the flowers and fruits become the tree of spiritual work.

Our real work is perhaps to remember our nature. Connection with nature can remind us that we have the potential to be living, breathing, loving, ever-welcoming, radiant hearts full of joy, awareness and contentment. May we all include That connection in our ‘return to work’ plans.

Namaste,

Kumud

P.S. Join us for our weekly Twitter chat, Sunday June 13 at 9amET / 630om India in #SpiritChat. I look forward to connecting with all of you. – @AjmaniK

The ‘bike path’ through the forest…