It was not long in the silence of the solitude that I understood I was not alone. Without even a book to distract me, I was out in creation surrounded by the stillness of a cold afternoon in the Pennsylvania forest. As I walked along a snowy trail I became aware that I was not actually by myself. Part of what jogged my attention was the beauty of creation and the rich feeling that I was not some spectator who had shown up like a patron at a zoo, peeking around at the surroundings like someone apart from and different from what was on display. Instead, I was sensitive to the reality of connectedness to all that was around me. And as if I were looking at a painting and had become suddenly aware of the artist who was responsible for its creation, I came to think about the source of this creation. Then, I came to sense the presence of that Divine Artist whose work was my very life and world. God was with me in the forest, not like another human person could have been with me in the forest, but there with me all the same.
—from Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis
by Daniel P. Horan, OFM