Delighting in Nature with God

Australian beach - image courtesy of

I am playing with God. I don’t mean that in a frivolous, joking way, but rather, a childish, playful way, in that I am delighting in God’s creation, in the natural beauty that surrounds me, right where I am. I have risen early to walk up to a nearby beach. Thankfully during our time of COVID-19 isolation, we’ve been allowed to leave our homes for the purpose of exercise.

As I walk along the shoreline and sunrise unfolds, my eyes delight in the changing light—from the dark blue and grey hues of dawn to shades of pink, purple, and gold. My ears delight in the sounds of the crashing waves onto the shoreline before me and onto the rocks, both near and far. The birds are flitting about in the nearby bushland. I hear their birdsong. During this time of COVID, walks in nature have become so much more precious to me. I’ve been trying to pay closer attention to the birds that nestle and fly by in my surrounds. I’ve been trying to discern the different bird calls and the variety of species, taking the time to appreciate them more deeply and to give thanks for their colorful and cheerful presence.

I can feel the cool breeze on my skin. In Australia we’re in the winter months. It’s particularly cold by the sea on the east coast. And yet, the day promises to warm up with its crisp blue outlook, the earlier clouds having gently dissipated. I take a deep breath, place my hand on my heart and say out loud:

Thank you, God, for this amazing, beautiful and glorious world. Thank you that I can be here, appreciating the natural world around me, during this COVID time, when I know many are suffering around the world, feeling worried and confused, grieving lost loved ones, and perhaps isolated in their homes without any, or easy, access to nature.

I know you’re here with me, God; I feel your presence deep within my heart. I feel your presence in my body as each of my senses delight in the beautiful nature that surrounds me in this moment.

Indeed, this is a feast for the senses, a playground for my senses.

As I look out over the ocean and across the vast horizon, I contemplate the majesty and beauty of nature, the mystery of life, and the Greater Mystery of God. I feel a deep sense of love and gratitude in this moment. God is with me. God is with me here and now and always.

My heart expands, and my arms follow this feeling, stretching out wide. Again, I take some deep breaths, understanding that each day of life is a blessing. A gift. I express words of blessing for all those who are suffering, that they may find peace and comfort in God’s loving presence in their hearts. And then I sense God whispering into my heart: “Peace be with you.”

Breathing deeply again, I allow those words to sit deeply within my body and soul. “Peace be with you.” I know having God’s presence of peace within me is not something to take for granted. And so I give thanks. Then I am suddenly filled with energy and start jogging along the shoreline. It’s a playful sprint that reminds me of when children get excited and suddenly sprint into their fathers’ arms. My heart is alive with joy. I have enjoyed a special moment with my loving God, who reminds me every day in the beauty of nature around me, that I am loved, and that taking delight in this natural beauty delights God too. We can delight in this beauty together. And for this, I give thanks.

Find Your Moments of Joy and Beauty

During this time of COVID, it can be difficult to find moments of joy and beauty. Find those places where you can delight in the natural world, whether it be in your garden, a local park, or bushland, or perhaps you can just look up to the sky from a window. Observe the shifting light, particularly at sunrise and sunset when the hues can often change within minutes. Take time to observe the birdsong you can hear. And in those quiet moments, if only for a minute, try placing your hand on your heart, taking some deep breaths and saying a prayer. God is always with us and delights in hearing from us!

Photo by Fiona Basile, courtesy of


  1. Nice. Thank you Fiona for this very meaningful exercise. It reminded me of a song that one hears now and then. It goes somewhat like this: “God is dwelling in my heart, He and I are one”!

  2. Thank you Fiona. My garden has been a constant source of comfort during these dark times. We have a number of “memory” plants; seeds or cuttings from family no longer with us which bloom each year to remind us of their lives. Then there are the roses, gifts from our children and friends, often to mark a birthday or anniversary. They all keep me firmly grounded by reminding me that whatever happens in the world God is always here; His Creation continues to flourish whatever we may or may not do. And yes, the birdsong, sweeter than any orchestral piece. I thank God every day for the glory of his Creation.

    • Peter, my garden is a constant source of ‘God moments’, from the mystery and wonder of what’s growing, to the gentle and constant ‘unfurling’ of so many buds – though we’re now in Winter in Australia, so I’ll eagerly await Spring! Thank you for your comment and affirming words, Fiona B

  3. This was a beautifully thought and written consideration of God’s love and bounty, Fiona, in his give of nature.
    It reminded me, as you marvelled at the colours of the sky, of a poem I wrote, looking out of my window at dawn:
    ‘A smattering of dawn challenges the night sky,
    severing earth from heaven
    in a long line, pale pink and yellow
    across my window space…’

    • Thank you for sharing your beautiful poem, Sandra. I find nature to be a beautiful and constant source of inspiration for writing, and feeling more deeply God’s presence.

  4. Indeed, it is cold on the east coast of Australia during these winter months, Fiona. The sea is often a deep, dark blue and the wind is icy. I love this time of year where I live and am very grateful to live in this environment. No matter where we are, though, be it a vast expanse of nature or a tiny glimpse of the sky we can delight in God’s creation.

    • So true, Pam. Even in the colder months, there is much beauty, mystery and inspiration to be found, particularly in the Creation. Grateful for so much. Stay warm, and safe! Fiona B


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