Self-Care: Time in God’s Creation

Yosemite Valley at sunset including Half Dome and Nevada Falls, by Thomas Robinson. See

One of the 30 Ways to Practice Self-Care is to spend time in God’s Creation. Watch a sunrise or sunset or appreciate some aspect of nature you rarely have time to notice.

How often do you go outside just to be away from human built things? How often do you go out into the night and look up to pay attention to stars? Did you know the root of the word “disaster” is to be separated (dis) from the stars (aster)? This month, may you find time each week to spend time in God’s Creation, by simply stepping outside your home, and stopping to listen, watch, feel, taste, experience natural beauty all around you.

Today, I applied and was granted a permit to hike the John Muir Trail with my wife Trina. We step onto the trail on July 24, this coming summer at Cottonwood Pass Trailhead in Horseshoe Meadows, near Lone Pine, California, about 20 miles south of Mount Whitney. We will hike for 30 days, across 240 miles, including 220 miles along what has been called “America’s most famous trail,” the John Muir Trail, named after Scottish naturalist John Muir (1838-1914). 160 miles of the John Muir Trail is on the much longer Pacific Crest Trail. Our hike will take us over 10 mountain passes above 10,000 feet in elevation, including the highest point on the entire Pacific Crest Trail, over Forester Pass at 13,153 feet elevation. We will exit our hike in Yosemite National Park, hiking next to Nevada Falls down into Yosemite Valley to the trail head called Happy Isles, at the foot of Half Dome (pictured above).

This journey or pilgrimage on foot is one way we intend to practice self-care, by spending lengthy time in God’s Creation, hiking 240 miles on foot, up the spine of the High Sierras in California for a full month outdoors.

John Muir spent much of his adult life walking in God’s Creation, meditating upon the goodness of God revealed in nature. Here are a few of his sayings to reflect upon as a way to call you outside, to practice healthy self-care by spending time in God’s Creation this week.

John Muir Sayings

  • Most people are on the world, not in it.
  • Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
  • I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.
  • In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.
  • The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
  • Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
  • The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.
  • Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
  • The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains – mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.