Mercy by the Sea retreat center has shared an excerpt from the introduction of Christine Valters Paintner's forthcoming book Earth, Our Original Monastery: Cultivating Wonder and Gratitude through Intimacy with Nature:
Everything in creation becomes a catalyst for my deepened self-understanding. The forest asks me to embrace my truth once again. The hummingbird invites me to sip holy nectar, the egret to stretch out my wings, the sparrows to remember my flock.
Each pine cone contains an epiphany; each smooth stone offers a revelation. I watch and witness as the sun slowly makes her long arc across the sky and discover my own rising and falling. The moon will sing of quiet miracles, like those which reveal and conceal the world every day right before our eyes.