By: Raymond Greiner
Frequently we make an observation describing something as natural. A child is given opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Then this student displays unusual adaptability to the instrument becoming proficient in an abnormally short span of time. This observation is referenced as a natural gift, commonly occurring among life’s challenges. Each of us possesses degrees of natural ability. These gifts may emerge on the athletic field, academically, musically, artistically or literary expression. Natural gifts are ubiquitously displayed throughout human existence. What source precipitates excellence? Why do some display natural abilities on a plane above others?
We define our beings as a composition of mind, body and spirit. This composite forms foundation for achievement, discovering pathways toward fulfillment. Of these three entities spiritual guidance is the most influential. The mind and body responds to one’s spirit in profoundly fascinating manners. Our spirit serves as a leader and director. The mind and body may possess limitation; however, the spirit is capable of transcending deficiencies. Consistently athletes overcome physical disabilities or those classified as mentally challenged emerge to a position far beyond prediction. In the summer of 1981 I lived along the Ohio River and was introduced to a man living nearby who epitomized spiritual strength. He was victimized by birth defects. He had no legs and only two fingers on each hand, a thumb and a forefinger. He lived on a small farm with his brother they inherited from their parents. He only went to the 5th Grade in school. He was outrageously taunted facing daily humiliation. Kids laughed at him and his inability to perform in a conventional manner. Eventually he refused to return to school. When I met him, he was in his mid 40s. His name was Toby (Tobias) Fletcher. What I discovered was mesmerizing. He and his brother designed a special seat for a garden tractor allowing Toby mobility. He performed outdoor chores and tended the garden, but his most extensive accomplishments emerged from his workshop. I was astonished at his creations, using a modified wheelchair for efficient movement inside his shop. He had an assortment of tools and machinery. On shelves and also hanging on the walls were examples of Toby’s work. Intricate woodcarvings and complex puzzles made from wood and metal. Artistically conceived furniture built with perfection and beautifully finished. Animals and birds portrayed using combinations of wood inlays creating the image. All this produced by a man with no legs and only thumbs and forefingers. Toby exemplified human spiritual power combined with his delightful and positive demeanor. He was proud of his accomplishments and asked me to sign his guestbook. He told me most of his ideas emerged from dreams. President Johnson awarded Toby handicap person of the year. Toby has since died, but is forever a fixture in my mind. Throughout the world there are many examples such as Toby.
As we venture forth in life natural gifts appear and accomplishments are intensified by means of spiritual engagement. Without spiritual support gifts dissipate. Exactly as some are awarded greater mental and physical ability, some are awarded higher spiritual capacity. Humanity has infused spirituality since inception, praising Earth and its life forms energizing spiritual bonding. The human spirit is boundless, historically proven as a power beyond all else.
During my lifetime I have spiritually bonded to the designs, patterns and immeasurable vastness of nature, displaying its inordinate ability to adjust synchronizing with Earth’s rhythms and tides, transiting evolutionary timelines spanning millions of years. Earth and the entire Universe are interconnected in spiritual consciousness. Wildflowers show the beauty of color as a means of attracting pollinators. Pollinators extract nectar as food for survival distributing pollen permitting plant reproduction. Spirituality exists throughout nature. The Golden Plover nests each year in the Yukon Flats of Alaska near the arctic circle and winters in Hawaii, migrating annually a distance of 3000 miles. Parent birds leave first and fledglings follow at a later time. The fledglings eventually arrive at the same location as their parents, never previously making the trip. How can they do this? It’s a mystery, linked to spiritual senses reacting to Earth’s rhythms. The magnificent film documentary Winged Migration vividly depicts nature’s spiritual abilities, a moving and revealing film.
So, we humans are spiritually connected equal to the wildflower and the Golden Plover. We are dependant on spirituality; we live our lives with greater magnitude when transcendent senses are stimulated. We respond to beauty, as do pollinators, seeking harmony and balance discovering meaning, as survival is contingent on spiritual imprinting unleashing power to enlighten.
When spring arrives and the beauty of nature speaks in its loudest voice I feel connection. Seeing a flock of boisterous crows transit the sky or a pair of bluebirds evaluating a nesting box highlights my day. Without doubt there is spiritual presence on such days.
Among us are those with extraordinary spiritual ability, offering guidelines defining life’s pathways, giving forth confidence to pursue proper direction enhancing our lives. Nature is also a spiritual guide revealing life’s zeal expanding consciousness. Discovering spiritual nature and the beauty that abounds within its clutch is essential.