My father loved all things natural. This love was three things for him: an openness to perceiving the wondrousness of it, an intellectual curiosity that wanted to understand, and a belief in the essential goodness of what he called God’s creation. When I was on my own spiritual quest, my understanding of this love of his was skewed by what I rejected as his constant mind activity, telling us endlessly about what he saw or heard, as well as by my disaffection from his Christian beliefs. As a result, I wasn’t able to share fully his love with him.
Because I reacted so strongly to these two aspects, I also couldn’t appreciate the third one: his amazing openness and readiness to see the wonder of the world that surrounds us. It wasn’t that he wanted to be spiritual and aware, or that he was practicing mindfulness. For him, it was simply how he was.