Nature’s Lessons for the Human Spirit

By Elizabeth Egan

“May the Angel of the Imagination enable you

To stand on the true thresholds,

At ease with your ambivalence

And drawn in new directions

Through the glow of your contradictions.”

—from “A Blessing of Angels” by John O’Donohue

Nature is a mirror to the rhythms of the human spirit. So much can be learned through the observance and reverence of the natural world around us. Autumn, in particular, is a threshold of contradictions that offers a gentle transition between light and dark. It is a time when the gorgeous colors surround and inspire, yet hint to the darker days of dormancy that are to come. The light changes in autumn, somehow offering deep warmth of gold as a last expression of vitality before the cool pastels of the winter sky take dominion. I suppose it is a reminder of the fragility of life in a way. It speaks to our hearts, urging us to make the most of the time we have. The harvest time is abundant and laden with the gifts of nature. It is a time to celebrate the bountiful, as well as a time to reflect upon our relationship to the earth for survival and sustenance.

Nature transitions so easily from one season to the next, and there is a gentleness to the way the earth moves across the thresholds of time. It is marvelous the way the trees and the animals are so easy with themselves, and so at peace with who and what they are. As the daylight hours diminish, a relinquishing of green gives way to leafless silhouettes, and many animals settle in naturally to a long winter’s slumber. There is no obsession with personal transformation. Each species simply rides the wind into its becoming, one season to the next. Perhaps therein lies the hidden lesson nature is softly suggesting.

Modern humans take themselves so seriously. We seem to always be in a state of perpetual doing. And yet, it wasn’t so long ago when humans clearly understood that the outer world was a sacred reflection of the inner world. Nature teaches us that there is an ancient rhythm to becoming, and that it can never be forced. There is equally a time for growth as there is a time for dormancy. The time of gestation is equally as important as the time of abundance and, ultimately, the time of rest. For during the seemingly dormant times of the year, the sprouts of new growth stir underground, as the womb of all that is to be birthed to life in spring is secretly nurtured.

And so, there is also a gentle rhythm to our life’s great expression. The rhythm and phases that we see encircling us from the moon, the sun, the stars, and the earth all reflect the ebb and flow of our inner landscapes. And it is in the inner landscape that we find the birthing of our ancient soul-self.

Like the transitions of the earthly seasons, the soul finds its way of expression through our lives gradually and gracefully.

This is a process that can be neither hurried nor forced. It is as if it were the greatest, deepest ocean upon the earth. It is impossible to see how deep the ocean of the soul is, because we can only ever glimpse it from the surface. Yet slowly, as the rhythm of waves crash upon the shore, the soul will carry its treasures one by one, and deliver them gently upon the tides of your life. These are times of great patience and faith as you watch the unfoldment of your ancient soul-self, and you delight in the depth of who you are becoming. It is a time to be easy with yourself, and easy with the uncertainty of the image as it takes its form before you.

And so, may we learn to take nature’s way of progression toward our greatest becoming. May we recognize the wisdom of our ancestors, and cross the thresholds with grace and patience. May the outer landscape guide us ever toward the inner landscape of our soul’s expression. May we be at peace with what lies dormant within us and mindful to offer the seeds of our becoming space to grow and blossom in due time. May the rhythm of nature pulse through our being beckoning us toward growth. As the sky darkens gradually in light and length, may we offer tomorrow’s dreams a proper winter slumber. And may the thresholds of our longing lead us gently toward a secret knowing, of all we have ever been.

Elizabeth Egan holds a Master’s Degree in Education and is a 6th grade science teacher in Connecticut. In addition, Elizabeth is a Reiki Master, and an accomplished Celtic-spiritual vocalist. She enjoys sharing her passion for spirituality and mindfulness through her writing, singing, and teaching. Elizabeth also leads guided meditation and sound healing workshops where she gently blends the powers of sound and energy healing in order to harmonize and restore energetic balance. To listen to samples of Elizabeth’s vocals, please feel free to visit:



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