After traveling down Highway 1, south of San Francisco, yesterday--and seeing some beautiful wooded mountainous areas along the coast--I was again struck with the concept of... "the forest is my church." For an Earth-based spirituality, of which even a Christian or Atheist could adhere to on some level, there is nothing like a natural setting to spiritually refresh oneself. One "Witcheathen" saying goes....
"The Forest is my Church, The Fairies are my Choir, The Wind is my Preacher, And the Moon is my Goddess."
For me, rugged natural environments are always more beautiful than man-made architecture; and most of the beautiful man-made architecture has been constructed upon and is in balance with natural settings. At one point as I drove along the coast during the late afternoon, I looked out upon the ocean. At sea level, the sun's rays created that certain light-affect upon the water. That glistening water was more magnificent to me than the inside of any man-made structure.
At another point, while driving along at a higher elevation, I gazed upon Montara Mountain. Again, the majesty of this massive 1,900 foot/5 million-plus year old mound projected a similar feeling upon me. As if communing with the force of the Universe. Probably no human being saw this mountain prior to about 11,000 years ago. In all those millions of years, the animals where the only mammals who knew Montara Mountain. Whether a forest, a body of water, a mountain, the Moon, the Sun, the sky and natural cloud formations, etc.; rugged nature is the most holy church to me.