This post is contributed by Mark Catlin, Summer Camp 2015 CIT co-director.
At camp, one of things I liked to point out in my nature thoughts for the day is the dynamic nature of nature. The forest is never static but always changing. Lindsay and I were at Crystal Lake Camps for the Fall Cleanup weekend a couple weeks ago. I got up early Sunday morning and was greeted with thick fog and mist. I could barely see the white pine grove just beyond the outlet of the lake.
Then in a matter of a few short hours the mist cleared revealing a whole new picture, crystal clear, showing the lake in its entirety. It was fun watching the natural elements hide and then quickly reveal the awesome beauty of our Crystal Lake.
The scene brought to mind Mrs. Eddy’s analogy about Truth, and how Christian Science is like the sunshine of Truth melting away the mist and revealing the celestial peaks, or in this case the full extent of Crystal Lake’s charm.
“Truth never destroys God’s idea. Truth is spiritual, eternal substance, which cannot destroy the right reflection. Corporeal sense, or error, may seem to hide Truth, health, harmony, and Science, as the mist obscures the sun or the mountain; but Science, the sunshine of Truth, will melt away the shadow and reveal the celestial peaks.”
We talk and sing at camp about how each one of us reflects Love. Our ability to reflect God/Love can never be hidden by a mist or anything else because, as Jesus showed us and Mrs. Eddy reaffirmed, reflecting love is what we are made to do!
Together with the mist there was the morning dew clinging to the leaves and needles of the trees.
At the same time the mist lifted before the gathering sunshine of that Sunday morning, the dew dissipated. The practicality of reflecting Love is in witnessing healing in one’s self and in others. Again Mrs. Eddy gives a lovely analogy of how healing through Christian Science is most effectively accomplished when reflecting divine Love, like the quick evaporation of the dew.
“If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one speedy healing visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine.”
This time of year in the forest of Crystal Lake Camp is fascinating to me because of all the changes taking place both rapidly, like the vanishing mist and dew, and at a slower pace, such as the turning of colors in the leaves of the deciduous trees.
It is humbling to think of how unencumbered these natural changes are. The same process occurs in our lives by understanding our true nature as spiritual beings.
Lindsey Biggs presented a Daily Lift video several weeks back that neatly captured the analogy between the effortlessness of the changing hues in the fall foliage and the shinning of the sun each day, with realizing how our harmony and well being is really effortless. The changing colors of the leaves and the daily shining of the sun is a natural result of the laws governing them just as our harmony and well being is a natural result of the God given laws governing us.
I learn so much about my relationship with God by being in the forest. It is one of the many reasons Crystal Lake Camps is a special place for me. Verse 2 of Hymn 317 encapsulates this connection between observing the dynamic nature of the forest and gaining a sense of the nature of my relationship with God.
Alone with thee, amid the changing shadows,
Solemn the hush of nature, newly born;
Alone with Thee, in breathless adoration,
In the calm dew and freshness of the morn.
Don’t wait till next summer when you come to camp to make this connection. Get out into the woods in a private forest (if you have permission) or a public park that is near you. And while you’re out there do just what Mr. Bear on the Dining Hall stage does – though they are now few and far between, be sure to stop and take time to smell the flowers!
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