VITAMIN N FOR THE SOUL: How Nature Can Nourish the Spirit of Children and Adults

Matthew, my youngest son, once asked me if a connection to a higher power is, in fact, an underutilized sense—one that some people find activated in nature. This is the same son who, when he was five, asked, “Are God and Mother Nature married, or just good friends?” Great questions. Most religious traditions, especially in indigenous cultures, intimately or actively offer ways to discover the divine in the natural world. Some people worship nature. Others consider such worship blasphemous, or detect nothing. Most of us are less direct. Just beyond the veil of rain, we sense a presence for which we have no name. Since the publication of “Last Child in the Woods” in 2005, I’ve been surprised and impressed by the support that many religious leaders of all faiths, and nonbelievers as well— and from very different political persuasions—have offered to the growing movement to connect people, especially children, to the natural world. One of the first and unexpected champions of the book was the Rev. Albert Mohler, Jr., a conservative radio host and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who wrote: “Christians should take the lead in reconnecting with nature and disconnecting from machines.” When I was […]