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Sandra Matuschka 1

The kind interaction of spirit and nature is always a joy to see…we boost each other and participate with each other in so many ways. Each time we explore any area in greater depth…the range of emotions and feelings grows, too. 

Sandra Matuschka expressed this inter-relation of spirit and nature so humbly, thoughtfully and clearly. And showed us a photo tableau she created to inspire herself. We love how the ancient stones frame, support and counterpoint the classic Christmas story with a cosmic mother in the background.

The uniqueness of this combination, and how it expresses so well what many nature lovers feel, earn her the December Nature Spirit Photography Challenge award. Congratulations, Sandra.

Sandra writes of her experience:

Well, technically, it’s still December here in Rhode Island (“T” minus about an hour or thereabouts to the next decade!), so I am doing the traditional writerly thing and submitting my response to December’s Challenge on deadline. The challenge for December for this group was to share some way in which “you, the spirit of the season and nature have interconnected.”

The part about “the spirit of the season” was blocking me. What exactly IS the spirit of the season? If you watch television, it’s mercantilism. If you are a religious church-going person, it’s all about the birth of the Christ. Without going into details, I’ve had an emotionally heavy year. For the first time, I put only a few token Christmas decorations around the house, and did not decorate the windows with candles or the lamppost with lights. I kept looking for the “spirit of the season,” but couldn’t seem to nail it. And the most nature I seemed to connect with was my mineral collection.

One day as I sat reflecting with my Amazonite stones, I felt a kind of peace come over me. I remembered my original excitement decades ago when I first encountered the various minerals and energies, and the awe I felt in learning their earthly histories. I have fossils and minerals that have taken millions (sometimes billions) of years to make their way into MY living room. How extraordinary! I’m a comparative newcomer. They grace me with their presence, their energies, their life journeys. They remind me of how mortal I am, how I am only a finite part of such an infinite whole, such that no matter how long I live, I’ve lived only a fraction of the time they have taken to emerge into their present being. In other words, they put things into perspective.

There’s a kind of fairy tale magic to the traditional Christmas story, but birthing a baby is hard physical work in a stable, whether the angels are singing or not. Growing up and older is hard work as well. So I placed my nativity scene this year in a quartz stone surround. The sun moved into the quartz one morning, lighting the scene from behind. My Christmas challenge photo, therefore, reflects the way in which the energies (spirit) of the season has connected with me this year, reminding me that the way is often long and hard, but we do not travel it alone. We are surrounded with friends of all types — animal, vegetable and mineral — and ALL of nature. We need to learn how to listen as nature speaks to us on frequencies that we so often miss. Be still and know….

Wishing us all a year ahead full of discernment, grace, and growth experiences to treasure!

Sandra receives a $50 gift certificate to Crystal Life’s website.

This is the last in our current series of Nature Spirit Contests. 

If you enjoy conversing and sharing nature spirit photos, head over to our closed Facebook Nature Spirit community group.


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