For centuries people have been looking to nature for spiritual balance and physical renewal. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, wrote, “Nature cures—not the physician.”

How is it that nature is capable of healing troubled minds and bodies? Why do we continually turn to her in times of stress?

What is there in nature’s wild yet sublime silence that touches the human heart?

Natural health writers John and Wendy Gist say the answer is as simple as a falling leaf or the brilliant colors of a newly opened flower or the rings in the trunk of a fallen tree. “When one is immersed in nature the individual ego is shed and a truer sense of self emerges,” the Gists explain. “The natural world is so much bigger than we are, so much stronger and more resilient.”

The Gists also see modern secular living as tending to ignore spiritual development. Immersing oneself in the powerful elements of nature, however, serves to affirm and enhance the spiritual capacity inherent in each human being.

looking for a miracle?

American author Thomas Wolfe observed that nature is the one place where miracles not only happen, but they happen all the time.

When you find yourself stressed with too many worries, too much noise, not enough time—stop and go outside. The world’s strongest stress antidote is waiting there. Tune it to the symmetry of a leaf, the song of a red bird, the glow of the sunset. Let your soul be refreshed by the fragrant beauty of the roses, the mystery of the stars, the quiet trickle of flowing water, the velvet feel of grass beneath your toes. From these quiet brushes with the miraculous, you will grow strong.