Let me count the ways:
1) Gratitude for connecting me with the heritage and personal memories of my father, his dad, my maternal grandmother, uncles, and other ancestors who tilled the soil.
2) Gratitude for connecting my heart and soul to working with my hands, as I have no handyman or mechanical skills.
3) Gratitude for connecting me with your creation, and leading me to plant my own flowers, shrubs and trees.
4) Gratitude for giving me an identity in retirement and a purpose.
5) Gratitude for enriching my mind and soul through leading me to read Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry and many others who love the soil.
6) Gratitude for giving me places to play with my grandchildren, digging and sensing and running through my jungle.
7) Gratitude for exercising my physical body as well as my mind and spirit.
8) Gratitude for leading me to volunteer, interpret, facilitate and travel for more connections with all the soil provides.
9) Gratitude for keeping me close to my own Garden of Eden, where God planned for us to stay.
Thank you for so much.
– This post was written by long time Bernheim Volunteer Naturalist, Dick Dennis as a part of a workshop titled “Wandering in Nature.” The goal of the workshop was to link the human soul with the natural world. The exercise was to write a love letter or letter of gratitude to some part of nature that spoke to you while wandering.