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decorating with nature

“Spiritual awareness is not glamorous or esoteric.  It is everyday stuff.”                                -Paul Ferrini-

I went to the bowls of rocks, plates of shells and baskets of sticks school of decorating!  Seriously.  I fall in love with beautiful rocks or shells and bring them home with me.  Same thing with driftwood.  I hope that it’s ok, my taking them from nature. I take only a few at a time from any environment.  I love the look and feel of them and I like to have them around me in my home.  I suppose they connect me to nature, especially during the long winter months where I spend more time indoors.

Instead of Buying Stuff…

Once in a while, I’ll take a shell or a piece of driftwood and give it to my cat.  She’ll toss it around like a soccer ball until she gets bored with it.  Then, back into the basket it goes!  We don’t need to buy toys for our cats.  Those cheap toys break, and they’ll just get tired of them anyway.  It seems to me that collecting these treasures from nature does less damage than going to a store and buying toys or decorations that come from halfway across the world. 

If we like to keep mementos of our travels, we can collect a small rock in every place we go to.  At home, write the name of the place on it and put it in a lovely grouping of similar stones.  

travel rocks

When I was teaching, each of my students would have a small, smooth stone with their name on it.  I would use them for drawing names.  When my kids would line up at my desk to come get their work corrected, they would inevitably run their fingers through the stones.  There was something about the feel of them that they couldn’t resist.  Perhaps some kind of energy that they were attracted to.  Just about every child is interested in nature and natural objects—especially if we foster that connection.  Bringing nature indoors is one way that we can do that.

bay plant

Indoor Plants

Children can take care of houseplants.  Nurturing a plant can be rewarding and help develop a sense of responsibility.  If they show their parents that they can take care of a plant over time, perhaps they are ready to take care of a pet.  Plants help make our homes beautiful and vibrant and help with air quality indoors, too.  It’s fun to bring herbs into our homes after the outdoor growing season is finished.  You would be surprised at how long some of them can last.  I’ve been growing a bay plant for over ten years now!

A Reminder that Nature is Sacred

When we set up natural objects in a way that they become a shrine, it’s a reminder to us of the sacredness of the world we live in.  And of how much we owe to nature, which sustains us. Anything that we’ve collected outdoors that calls to mind the natural world can be a part of our shrine.  We can place a candle nearby and light it when we want to create a space for prayer or meditation.  It helps to ground us in a deeper place–back to ourselves but connected to the all as we deepen our spiritual practice.

I love watching this video of the Mirages & Miracles art exhibit.   Like me, these artists were definitely inspired by rocks.  They have married technology to nature and in the process have created something indescribably beautiful.  You can check it out here.

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