This fall marks six years since my family and I sold our 27-acre organic farm and the house we had designed and built ourselves—the place my wife and I thought we’d call home our entire lives. The grief of leaving that place and that life still runs deep in me. I often find myself thinking, I should be over it by now.
Earlier this year, I adopted a “sit-spotting ” nature meditation practice, which I wish I’d started doing a long time ago.
Every other morning, before dawn, I hike back into the forest behind our rural home, to a secluded spot where a spring-fed stream tumbles down layers of exposed limestone. I sit there for about half an hour, watching a small stretch of the stream and listening to the sounds of the water and the woodland. I journal for a bit, then I hike back home.
Most of us want to believe that the world is fundamentally predictable and safe. I know that I don’t do especially well with uncertainty and risk. Even when I’m doing something adventurous like rock climbing, I don’t want dramatic surprises; I want to know that I’m on route and that my gear will prevent disaster.