Date with Creation: Week 6 | Day 7
Atticus Olivet shares how two separate experiences of this week’s activity, “Date with Creation,” opened him to a deeper appreciation of how the wonders of creation and the natural world can be experienced no matter where we are.
Transcript: So I did this exercise twice. And the first time I did it where I was completely still, out in a place that I genuinely cared about. So I went out to what I call my sacred spot, which is a small bench that nobody knows about at Fresh Pond. So I went out there and I completed the whole exercise, basically not speaking. I couldn’t see anybody else. I couldn’t hear any construction sounds or anything, just far away from everything in my solitude. And I could hear wind blowing and leaves rustling and other things that you wouldn’t even think of, like a woodpecker like 100 miles away. That’s what it felt like. Things that you would have never even think of.
Then the thing that really got me, and I actually started kind of tearing up a little bit, was when in the exercise, the second column, when it asks to offer thanks. I was sort of thinking about all of the things that Fresh Pond has done for me, because Fresh Pond is sort of my place of solitude. I go there when I’m sad, when I’m sort of—when I need to sort of take a breath out of fast, busy paced life, and kind of go out into nature and really connect. And I sort of had a really deep connection to this place and sort of just said thanks in my own way to what this place has done for me.
And by doing that, it sort of helped me do all the other things in the exercise, like kind of be present where I was. Sort of thinking about how this place has affected me, how it’s affecting me right now, what I’m doing, how I’m sitting, how my posture is, how the world is interacting around me. It was a really, really great experience.
And then I did the exercises a second time and this time I did it physically on a bike. I rode – because I’ve really started kind of getting into road biking a little bit – I went out as far as I possibly could. I ended up – I don’t even know where I was, honestly. I was way past Chelmsford or something. So I was in the middle of nowhere. And at that point, you’re just surrounded by trees, and you’re on these deserted roads, and then you start sort of getting into this Zen zone where you’re by yourself and it’s just you and nature.
So again, I heard the wind going by me. I could feel the wind on my face. I could feel the sun coming through the trees. I heard the woodpecker 100 miles away. It was very similar to the sort of feeling I had felt at Fresh Pond and it just sort of made me realize that nature is sort of around us all the time even if you’re not really thinking about it. So if you’re in the city, you need to sort of make an effort a little bit to get out there. But once you get there, it’s all the same to connect with what’s around you.
– Atticus Olivet
Nurturing a healthy relationship with Creation takes time and intention. This week, schedule a few “dates” with Creation, finding a favorite spot in nature to return to each day. Nurture your relationship with Creation by offering thanks, being present, listening, protecting, and praying in this spot.
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Atticus, the candor of your witness moved me very much. Your speech was like a painting … your words truly painted a picture of your heart. And it was also much like a prayer … your sentiments came directly from your spirit. And yes, I am a fellow traveler … I, too, understand the magic of a solitary ride on two wheels, riding the 2-lanes deep in the really rural areas of the country. You can’t help but find God.
Thanks Atticus……April is being cold ,windy and very wet here in Ottawa, Canada. However, the sun arrived for these last two days! So I will meditate in my backyard as I build a vegetable garden and watch the chickedees starting their nest in the bird box….when they have done with it, the woodpeckers will return to it too. I will also find myself at one with nature and God by pick’n my new ( old) banjo!
All my best wishes to all you fellow travellers and to the brothers for enriching so much this Lenten journey. God bless!