Reverence for Nature – Part I
Rev’rence is more than just quietly sitting:
It’s thinking of
Father parents above,
A feeling I get when I think of his blessings.
I’m rev’rent, for rev’rence is love.
When I’m rev’rent, it shows in my words and my deeds.
The pathway to follow is clear.
And when I am rev’rent, I know in my heart
Heav’nly Father and Jesus are near.
“Reverence Is Love,” Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 31
I am the Mormon part of a part-member family. My husband would likely describe himself as a humanist and, if pressed for his opinion on God, an agnostic. He promised long before we married that if it was important to me, he would be there; consequently he may be the most active nonmember you’ll ever meet. Lately that consists of attending primary with our sunbeam which seems to suit both of them well. But he finds religion in general troubling and Mormon doctrine peculiar. I don’t think there is any amount of time that is going to change his views; I am more than ok with that.
Perhaps because of this difference in opinions about the nature of God, we have turned to a common love as our ethical foundation – reverence for nature. Nature is a source of endless awe for both of us; many of our closest moments have been pondering the landscape or hiking in the woods. Reverence for nature is my preferred method of worship. This type of reverence is consistent with his humanist philosophies.
When our child came along, we naturally gravitated to a style of child rearing that also reflected reverence for nature. Of course, as our child grows, the actualization of this notion changes a bit. This has been surprisingly challenging as, looking back, I realize that reverence has changed from a very LDS conception to different one in my own mind.
There are two books (and probably others) that I’ve found particularly helpful in thinking through how to combine my upbringing where reverence equaled ‘thinking of Father above’ and – let’s face it – ‘quietly sitting’: Last Child In The Woods and Above All, Be Kind.
Over the next few days, I will be discussing each book separately, but before I do, how does reverence and nature intersect in your home?