I was one of those endangered species we hear about so often. That particular species is called the art teacher in the public school system, for first through sixth grade. I was called “the artist in residence,” which is a very cheap way for schools to still have an art teacher, •without having to pay a contracted salary for one. I was doing it for free, and the only way I could afford to do it was because I had just become retired, so I could volunteer my time. This was my gift to the children in my community who had a passion for art, and a need for opportunities to use their imaginations and be creative.

Art as a subject in school, is considered expendable, and therefore the first thing dropped from the regular curriculum. My payment was watching the students come up with creations that they were proud of, and seeing their eyes widen with imagination and their jaws drop in amazement when I showed them new ways of seeing and appreciating nature. I soon realized that I was introducing many of them to the wonders of nature for the first time. I was connecting them to the greatest inspiration and source of life we have.

William Blake mites, “Nature is imagination itself.” Albert Einstein tells us to “look deeply into Nature, and there you will understand everything better.” We can’t leave nature out of our children’s big picture if we want our children to evolve in a balanced, healthy, and creative way. We can’t put all the emphasis on technology, or they will lose their inheritance as human beings on this planet.

I found that most children have lost their sense of wonder and are surprisingly skeptical by the time they reach the third grade. I enjoyed blowing their minds as they learned to see nature in ways that made them feel like they were “Dorothy of Oz” just landing in Munchkinland.

I started my first classes by asking the children, “Where does one go to get inspiration and ideas for art?” They raised their hands and said things like books, teachers, and other artists. I suggested they were leaving out the most important source of all. Finally, I had to come out and say to them, “How about Mother Nature?” Not one child in two different schools thought of this—not one!

Oh my, we have neglected this wisdom so completely! Our children are bereft. I would daresay they have been orphaned when they have no reference at all for Mother Nature. One child raised her hand and corrected me by saying that “it was not Mother Nature, it’s God!” I learned then that to even mention Mother Nature in public school, was being politically incorrect. M,That a shame!

I realized through this teaching experience, just how suppressed and totally dismissed the feminine presence known as “Mother Nature” and “Mother Earth”, has become in the modern psyche. She has now been delegated to words like landscape, outdoors, or, even worse, the gross natural product. Carl Jung said once, “You can throw Mother Nature out ivith a pitchfork, but she will always come back.” We may think we have put her in her place, but we need to remember that she has the last word.

As nature is going unnoticed, we are replacing her with cell phones, tablets, and computers. It is the imbalance of our age. Perhaps we are experiencing the long-term effects of the Inquisition that labeled those who honored Mother Nature, as witches, and burned them at the stake. So many “first peoples” around the world have experienced the harsh cruelty and suppression of this kind of mentality. I also think of Cat Stevens’s song “Where Do the Children Play?” I rarely see children playing outdoors, unless it is an organized sport.

Since I am writing my own book, I am grateful I still have the freedom of speech to express my heart and mind and draw attention to what I think is sadly being left out of our collective values. In my book, I will honor Mother Nature as the divine feminine, who, along with the divine masculine, is in everything. It is time once again for there to be the wholeness that acknowledges the “Spirit in Matter.” This includes both the masculine and feminine. The closer I look at nature, the more hermaphroditic it appears to be. I will try to show you how this is so. I will challenge you to not just look at the pictures I am showing you, but study them and look deeply into them as Einstein would have advised.

The artists, poets, and craftsman of old knew this. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, “Nature will always wear the colors of the Spirit in Nature.” In this modern age, we may have forgotten this. If that is the case, we have been blinded. We have to first realize that we are out of balance, and this imbalance is destroying us. We need our minds, and hearts renewed if we are to have our eyes opened again.

I am encouraged by the science of physics because it uses terms like “lost symmetry” and “the hidden third”, which I find to be such an important part of really seeing nature. You will be amazed to see how symmetry reveals the “hidden third” in everything. I am not sure where the science of physics will go, but I think it is a science that is open to experience. I hope that these scientists are generous with what they learn. I think they realize that there is a hidden soul and spirit in nature that we have ignored for too long. I just hope they %ill honor it, not just tamper ivith it.

Jungian psychology is another science that has given us maps and understanding into our own human nature that, before was unavailable to us. I will refer to this and share my process looking into the mirror of my ovm soul, which is another way of seeing in symmetry’.