As we go through this pandemic, it’s easy for us to become anxious over the uncertainties of the future. One thing I’ve become more aware of in these times is the importance of taking a deep breath and allowing my soul to settle peacefully in the present moment.

I find that contemplating nature is a wonderful way to do this. There’s something reassuring about the rhythm of the waves at the shore, or autumn leaves floating gently through the air, or the warm colors of the setting sun illuminating the landscape. Nature has a message for us, if we open ourselves to hear it.

Photography is one way I can immerse myself in nature and feel its reassuring peace, its permanently changing aspects, its connection with the creative Spirit of God. There are other ways to center oneself in the present moment as well, such as listening to quiet music, practicing meditation or yoga, and walking in the woods.

As we enter into the holy season of Advent, we are invited to join Mary, as she ponders the meaning of her pregnancy, attentive to the presence of the Spirit of God looking at her with love, waiting for the revelation of God’s will for her, with the faith to say yes to all that is asked of her.

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant…” (Luke 2:46-48)

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