Chaplain Chat | Issue 16

... Just Being Natural

Dunedin is a pretty special place, and for many of us it will hold a lot of memories both now and when we are away from it. This time of year is about returning to lil’ ol’ Dunedin after a break away for the holidays, and after all that time of family, and probably a little more warmth, it can sometimes be a little hard on the system returning here. But boy, ain’t University life fun!!! And all located here in this marvellous setting of ol’ Dunedin town. So this morning, as I sat wrapped in wool, sipping on a steaming cup of loose leaf tea and watching the sun rise over Cargill’s shoulder, I heard the sound of a Bellbird in the broadleaf out front and realised that sometimes returning means coming a little more ‘back to nature’ for us all. Both back to our own true natures, where we find ourselves delightfully ‘at home’ with ourselves, and also the incredible nature that surrounds our southern city. Sometimes the two can be indeed complimentary. The Bellbird sang with delight on this pure azure morning, and the countryside, bush and beaches beckoned for me to take a walk amongst it all. For those of you without cars, even a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, and a quiet sit somewhere to just ‘be’, and to just ‘think’ a while, away from the bustle and hustle of life is an option. But it really is a much-needed thing in our busy world to simply sit back and soak up life, and RELAX alone for a little while, to set aside time to just ‘be’ and think, and at the very least to simply re-group. Quite often we are our own best company if we allow it, and time out is a precious thing in busy flats, and the hustle of party going and assignments, but man, it is just so good, to be ‘out there’ alone in Nature just drinking it up (perhaps not necessarily lager, but the experience ). Fresh air, Nature, alone time, and a walk are under estimated… and incredibly good for us. We often forget what is on our back doorstep, perhaps this time as we return, we can spend a little more time in the beautiful backyard we call New Zealand. I mean, God, it’s a good place to be!!!

“…the world will be saved by beauty!” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Paul Armstrong
Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Team
This article first appeared in Issue 16, 2012.
Posted 5:14pm Sunday 15th July 2012 by Paul Winter.