Chossing Our Path

2 06 2008

olive pathe

My spiritual retreat weekend served me to nourish my mind and soul. Here is an excerpt of a reflection I wrote on my journal:

I’m walking the grounds and looking not only for a place to sit and rest my back but also a shade. it must be 96 degrees F and I can’t feel comfortable anywhere.

I go from place to place and try to reflect or write. It’s way too hot, and the insects are now biting me. I decide to go back in. As I look at the path before me the road splits in two, one is a short way to where I’m going but it provides no shade. So I choose the long path instead in order to get relieved from the sun on my skin.

I immediately thought of real life situations that might present themselves; there is always a short way and a long way. In our eagerness to get things over with, we sometimes choose the shortest way when in reality the long way would have given us more time reflect upon our decisions and also provide relief along the way. Like the shade from the trees that almost covered all the way on my long path to the monastery.
(end of journal entry)

Taking time to absorb what surrounds us, to listen to our inner voice, to open ourselves to the possibilities, and to open our mind to the unexpected are just some of the benefits of choosing a long path.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

The Gift of Nature

7 05 2008

nature Noise, conversations, arguments, phones, TV, I can’t take it most of the time. I need to walk to my backyard and breathe the fresh air, to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, and the coolness of the grass under my feet.

Yesterday was no different, I step out at one point of the other during the day, and in the late afternoon the sun was still warm enough to be out for a while. I was barefooted and walked around over the green grass as I checked each and every tree. The lime tree is packed, the mangoe tree huge but not sign of fruit yet, the almond tree was hit by the last cold front and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to revive it. The breeze played with the palm trees who are looking so healthy now and the pond is looking pretty dry since we had no rain for over week. I got close to the edge of the pond and sat on the grass, before I knew it I laid down looking up the clear sky. The birds flew around landing on the branches of the trees behind the pond, the wind softly caressed my skin, I breathed deep in and out as I thanked God for this heaven on earth that he created for me, for you, for all of us. I’m sure that if someone sees me they will ask themselves what the heck am I’m doing laying on the grass with no blanket, but I need to feel the earth make contact with my body and somehow absorb its energy. As I move to look around I hear the grass crunching under the weight of my body and from time to time I hear the birds singing and sudden sounds coming from the preserve. I worry that it can be a bobcat or some other wild animal so I remained alert.


I wished I could just close my eyes and take a nap right there.

There is a reason for all of this beauty to surround us, to uplift our mind and soul to the divine, to nurture all our senses.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life

Nature Crave

14 04 2008


It was one of those days when all I wanted was to get closer to nature, is one of the places where my mind and soul are fed in different ways. The clean air, the sounds, my heart beating as I hike in the woods and look around me for interesting plants and animals. Unfortunately I got started close to noon time and the heat was a little bit too hot but I pressed on anyway and walked about 2 miles. Mostly sandy trails made the hike challenging but never the less it was worth the time and effort.

When I hike picture taking is part of the adventure, I want to capture the encountered beauty of the surroundings. My mind usually goes blank while I walk and feel each step move my body forward. I absorbe the energy from the sun on my skin and my ears are delighted by the sounds. The breeze refreshes my overheated body and the occasional shade invites me to stop and glance for a little while along the side of the trail.


I sat on a bench facing a small lake and there I tried to absorb the movement of the water towards the edge, the breeze is blowing softly as the birds go in an out of a little island in the center of it. I grab my bottle of water and feel my heart beat faster, then I take my camera and capture a few more shots of my surroundings. The pictures will serve me when I can’t be there but want to be transported by the memories of this day. It’s nature crave, one I enjoy having to let all my senses bask in the delight it stirs in my body, mind and soul.

Clary Lopez, author of Simplicity, Richness of Life