I am of the firm belief that our religion is not a nature religion. We do not worship nature--trees are not sacred, waves are not, what makes them sacred are the beings who move them, guide them, or are represented by them. Titans. Gods. Nymphs. But that does not mean that our religion ignores the beauty of nature and the natural world. If anything, we are made aware of our Gods by the world They inhabit.

My spot, between the trees

I write this, sitting at the water's edge, listening to birds and bees, soaking up Helios' bright rays. I'm watching mosquitos dance over the surface of the water and marvel at the intricate chain of codepence nature is as I see them get gobbled up by fishes, jumping high. I'm sitting on soft moss and grass, between two strong trees. Beatles and ants crawl over my pants and shirt and there is no one around me. It are these moments when I feel the presence of the Gods the most. Not because they are here with me, not because I am giving them sacrifice, but because I feel like I am a natural part of the world they have created.

I used to run, and I'd run by the same spot I am sitting now a few times a week. I loved to run. When my knee gave out, I had to stop--even had to stop taking long hikes--and I missed it. I still do. I missed the exersize, the physical strain, but mostly I missed feeling like a part of the world. I missed being aware of the birds, of the splashing frogs, of the sun. I am outside more often than just when I used to run, but I am never so aware of it as when running or hiking.

A few months have passed and especially if I wear a knee brace, I can go on hikes again. Running is still out: my new training routine involves a home trainer and squats and as much as I hate to admit it, those two already put the maximum strain on my knee. So now I take shorter walks sometimes, when I get the urge. I rest at beautiful spots to remind myself of all the many ways in which I am sustained by the Gods--physically but also mentally and emotionally. The food I eat, the home I live in, the entertainment I relax with, the beauty around me, is all part of the divine tapestry that we are all part of. It connects us. It connects us to each other and to the Gods.

The ancient Hellenes didn't have a word for religion. Their relationships with the Gods was as much a part of life as nature was. You can work or be free, that's why both need words. You can run or walk or stand still, and they all mean something different. The ancient Hellenes didn't have a word for religion because there was nothing to offset it with. The Gods were there and there was no two ways about it. When I sit here, at the water's edge, I feel like that: like 'religion' and 'religious' as words are falacies: the Gods are, and They are beautiful.