Last summer, I had the opportunity to visit Banff National Park. The scenery was breathtaking. I marveled at the turquoise lakes, which get their gorgeous emerald hue from glacial rocks. As glaciers grind against the rocks, it creates fine particles of “glacier flour,” which are then deposited in the lake. When sunlight bounces off the water, the rays reflect a stunning sparkling color. This process does not happen overnight, rather after many years and seasons of change – thawing and grinding and melting and evolving. At first glance, the annoying rock in our shoes can seem meaningless and outright irritating. How would we view that rock differently knowing it contributed to some of the most vibrant lakes in the world?

I marvel at the diversity of our earth. The mountains, beaches, and even deserts offer examples of the beauty that exists because of stretching, shrinking, and growing. For instance, the sand on the shore of the beach reveals stretch marks from the tide coming in and out. We see this design as a manifestation of movement and change over time. Similarly, the stretch marks, scars, and wrinkles on our own bodies are proof that we have lived in them, evolving through life’s ups and downs.

What if we could apply the same marvel and wonder to the forces of nature we call our bodies? What if we allowed our bodies to change just as we allow nature to adapt? We see nature and accept its changes as beautiful, miraculous even. The body is no different. This vessel houses between 206 and 213 bones, over 600 muscles, and trillions of cells (Cleveland Clinic, 2024). Our bodies have 11 different organ systems, ranging from the digestive system to the nervous system to the cardiovascular system. Each is extremely complex, working with the other systems to help us thrive.

What freedom can you gain from viewing your body in this new way? How will you appreciate your body as it evolves through various seasons? There is a certain freedom, peace, and acceptance that comes with appreciating nature. My wish is that we apply that same appreciation and wonder to the bodies that are carrying us through life.