I once did a 28-day fruit and veggies cleanse. I was between jobs and cleared my schedule of most everything else. It was a privilege to slow the rhythm of my life enough to wash and cut, blend or toss produce every few hours. Between meals, I wrote in my journal and listened to birds. I noticed gazing at the moon calms me instantly and nothing’s easier than eating a cantaloupe right out of the rind. Sun on my skin warmed all the way to my soul and I let myself feel the spring breeze. I smiled to myself more than I have in years.

I’ve heard nature is therapeutic and essential to our well-being, but not until this month-long oasis did I understand for myself. Our lives aren’t just stressful because of their complexity or technology or gobs of information. Those things add stress, but maybe we could handle it better if we indulged in the things God put in our world as therapy. Grass under our feet, stargazing, the smell of a rose. Things that feel so good I sometimes forget what I was upset about. These are His gifts, strategically put in place before our world fell, to help us stay strong through battles and help us unwind what’s gotten too tight.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
that the hand of the 
Lord has done this?
In his hand is the life of every creature
and the breath of all mankind.  

Job 12:7-10 NIV