I don’t remember a time when I didn’t feel God’s presence in nature, but I do remember when I couldn’t put a name to the amazing wonder, beauty, and peace I felt whenever I was immersed in it. I’ve always felt that presence flowing around and through me, filling my senses, mind, and heart with love, but it wasn’t until I was 17 that I knew it was God.
Up until then, I questioned the existence of God. What I felt and knew didn’t fit at all with what others seemed to say was “God”. God never spoke to me.
One summer, when I was 17, I went with a group from my university to help with a project in the interior of Mexico to bring a clinic, water, and electricity to a tiny village high in the central mountains. On Sunday we didn’t work, so I decided to go for a walk in the woods by myself. There were no roads up there… only trails, and I followed one through the pine trees high above a creek for quite a distance. At one point, I stopped and sat on a boulder in the dappled sunlight. It was quiet and peaceful, and I prayed to ask God to let me know if He/She really existed.
The air around me suddenly felt full of what I can best describe as golden sparkles! It was in me and around me and in everything, filling everything with energy, love and beauty. I knew then, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God exists. I said a prayer of grateful thanksgiving for opening my heart and mind. I knew.
When I hear God described as the Great I AM, I feel what that means. On hikes with breathtaking vistas, or when I have tea outside in the garden and see the rising morning sun turning the oak leaves golden from underneath, I feel God. I see God in the details of a butterfly’s wings or in the love in the eyes of my dog. It’s everywhere and in everything. Doubt has vanished.