Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sanctuary - by Stephanne

Sanctuary... Google defines "sanctuary" as: 

  1. a place of refuge or safety
  2. a nature reserve, such as "bird sanctuary"
  3. a holy place, temple or church

How close can they come, yet miss it?  How snugly can they skirt the point? Let's do the word some justice, shall we? Let's truly define "Sanctuary".  

Sanctuary: A place ( not quite...)  

Sanctuary: A holy place or refuge in nature. 

A friend asked, "what is nature to you?" and the immediate thought and feeling that surfaced: Sanctuary.  There is no place like the wild for me.  It recharges me and resets my internal batteries... it melts my stress.... it transforms my life to a simple yet deeply rewarding time.  Nature is my Sanctuary. 

Who can argue the awe-inspiring sense of wonder and humility when viewing sunrise across an expanse of rugged, snow-capped peaks?  Nature is my Sanctuary. 

Who can negate the sense of peace and internal harmony as a babbling brook playfully dances with the rocks of a mountain stream?  Nature is my Sanctuary.  

Who can dispute the calm serenity of ocean waves rhythmically thrumming the ever-steady heartbeat of the earth, chorused by calling gulls?  Nature is my Sanctuary.  

Even the side of nature that scares us, yet is an integral part of this world, gives us a sense of awe with her raw power, beauty, and grace?  Lightening messily scratching its light across the skies... volcanoes with their powerful bellows and blood of magma... twisting delicate ropes of destruction in tornadoes... the immense splendor of a hurricane viewed from space... the 'reclaimable energy' of floods or avalanches.  Yes, even these capture us in wonder.  

Nature, you see, is in our genes... etched into the very atoms that create us.  We are part of nature and nature is a part of us.  The benefits of being ensconced in that nature are numerous and immeasurable.  Perhaps that oneness is why nature resets and recharges, inspires and enamors, instills peace and serenity?  Regardless if your version of being in nature is a vista view from a car or the most hidden secret lakes and meadows shrouded in mountains and mist... nature is a sanctuary.  It heals what wounds we cannot see... may not feel... and sometimes have not yet begun to fathom.  

How? Why?  It's simple...

...Nature is a Sanctuary. 

...maybe you should find your sanctuary in nature...
 just remember to take care of it.

Stephanne Dennis is an outdoor enthusiast extraordinaire. A highly skilled backpacker and apex predator specialist, she shares her love of the outdoors with her unrivaled writing skills and her faithful companion, Bandit McKaye, her Anatolian Shepherd. She is currently studying Wildlife Biology at Oregon State University and dedicates her time and skills to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation.

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