There’s something about staring at green, green grass; hearing fluttering cottonwood leaves; sitting under a magnificent blue summer sky, complete with its ever-changing free cloud show; watching insects flit, hover and buzz … that settles my soul.

In the past few weeks I’ve been on an accidental, informal tour of several of our local parks. I’ve glugged down, sipped and relished the end of a beautiful summer here in Colorado.

It’s been warm but cool in the shade. I toted around a canvas folding chair and books, trying to slow down and breathe.

Nature met me more than halfway in that respirational endeavor. It offered the calm, steady embrace of minutely growing things.

It displayed its intricate ecosystems. Miraculously year after year, trees grow from seeds … flowers from buds … and a certainty in me grows — of something great and good. Something bigger than me. Reassuring.

It’s like a loving mother’s arms, the embrace of the earth.