In earlier times, and still in a few places in the world, people have listened to the unconscious via oracles, divination, and the voices of nature. Birds, trees, and even stones have been perceived as valuable sources for the whisperings of the divine. Modern people have a bias that only the human head, the ego, and its thoughts have validity, but we too yearn to be touched by something beyond the confines of the personal "I."

The origin of the phrase "to saunter" is good medicine for modern people caught in the too-muchness of life. At a certain point in time, medieval Europeans developed the custom of "sainting" things. . . . The cross was sainted (Santa Cruz), and even the earth was sainted. This became St. Terre, from which we gained the phrase, "to saunter," that is, to walk on the earth with reverence for its holiness. Perhaps there was an intuition even in those early times that we would need a way of walking with reverence to recall us from hurried lives. . . .

Nature does not ask for explanations, only that we witness the fleeting moment that is constant. Go for a walk in nature and receive the blessings of an ancient tree, listen for a message in the cry of a bird, take counsel with a constant and abiding stream. Allow yourself to reconnect to the creative matrix that supports all life.

Jerry M. Ruhl, Robert A. Johnson in Contentment