A daily ritual is an act or series of acts regularly performed with the intent of becoming mindful in the present moment. Today, in our fast-paced and hectic lives, most people do not have the time or desire for daily rituals. My morning ritual begins before sunrise putting food and water out for the wildlife on my property. As I carefully place food at the base of my pine trees I greet each tree by sending them peace and love. With each greeting, the feelings of peace and love return back to me. The first bird songs that greet me are the chickadees with their cheerful song of “Hey Sweetie”. Next are the cardinals with their whistles that echo around the yard. Soon the chorus of doves, jays, red-winged blackbirds, and robins join in. Just like a ritual, their progression remains the same every morning. Now with the arrival of spring, the bugle calls of the sandhill cranes can be heard from the nearby marsh. Their haunting calls are like a hymn sung in the cathedral of nature that surrounds me.
After the quiet arrival of my deer herd, the giant flock of male turkeys march in a single file progression with the dominant males drumming in their full plumage. The squirrels are always the last to rise as they sleepily climb down from their nest boxes to begin their morning meal of sunflower seeds and peanuts. After I have finished feeding all my outdoor wildlife, I quietly walk over to my pine grove and sit on my old wooden picnic table. As I close my eyes to begin my morning prayers, the energy and peace of nature surrounds me. By the time I open my eyes again I have a front row seat to the greatest show on earth. As I watch these creatures come together to share the food I have given them, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the life I have been given. This morning ritual grounds me. It sets the tone for how my day will begin. By connecting to nature daily in this ritual, I am mindful of what is important in my life. I hope that after reading this, each of you find a window of time in your day to create your own healing ritual in nature.