Unconditional Love







I’ve been thinking lately about unconditional love, the quality of acceptance which everyone seeks, but is sometimes hard to find. I discovered this week that it exists all around us; we just have to know how to look.

The epiphany came about rather unceremoniously. A few months ago my husband Paul and I had decided to experiment with new ways to deepen our practice of the Sabbath, or Shabbat. For years we have been honoring the weekly ritual on Friday night of lighting candles and saying blessings over bread and wine to honor the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath. Lately we have been trying to focus our Saturday on “being” rather than “doing.”

This past Saturday, on a particularly balmy evening, we lay outside on some chaise lounges gazing up at the fast-moving clouds.







The sky was alive; its moods constantly changing with shapes and creatures morphing before our eyes. It mirrored my mind. As the light waned my thoughts slowed. Neither of us spoke.

A slight breeze was blowing, making the grass shiver before us. My eyes fixed upon the pulsing sea of green. I decided to see if I could mimic its rhythm with my own breath, following what I had learned from meditation tapes.

A robin hopped into view. Its beak dipped and tugged at a worm, jerking backwards. I watched it swallow, and a thought came to me then, drifting on the scent of lilacs and meadow grass.









In the natural world there is no ‘good,’ or ‘bad.’ No judgment. Everything is completely accepted. Therefore, Nature – or you might say the Eternal– is unconditionally loving.

If we are unconditionally loved by Nature —or whatever you choose to call it— then we belong to something bigger than any one person, and the love of the Universe is much bigger than what any individual could give.

Love is SO big, in fact, that there can be no question about the rightness of each of us being here in this moment on Earth. We don’t need to go anywhere to discover this. Wonder and love are all around us, in every cloud and blade of grass. We are, and therefore, we are loved.

How do you practice “being?”

When have you felt at one with nature?

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18 Responses to Unconditional Love

  1. notakid says:

    My father made me aware of nature’s beauty at a very early age. We examined daddy long leg spiders and praying mantis wonders up close and personal. Trees have always had a special in my heart, also. Love that they just stand there being what God meant them to be. Not worrying that the tree close by has greener, shinier leaves or gets more water. We can learn much from them.

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      I love our image of the trees standing next to each other, not worrying if the one next door is greener! We can indeed learn a lot from trees. Thank you!

  2. Hi Eileen, Your photos are lovely, capturing nature’s ever present moods in our life. I, took a few photos over Memorial Day weekend, perhaps, not enough to satisfy my wont and to remember our family celebrations. Why, I ask myself do I jip myself and stay SO minimal with my camera, slices of birthday cake, spending on plants and much more??? Why??? Nature can be free and pleasant.

    Well, I do think about all of these whys and wherefores, when I sit in my outdoor sitting chair and look up, out and around at my surroundings. My unwritten thoughts=being for me in some manner.
    I think about what I see and hear, people I know and knew, past employment, family, subjects,
    the news, investment and budget, being loved and what is irking me… Sometimes, I organize my thoughts on paper and get into “it”; other times, I think randomly to see where I land. My landings are cushiony! My thoughts have “foundations”. Do you understand??

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Yes, I do think it helps to get thoughts on paper sometimes. For one thing, the written word can make a good mirror. For those of us who were not reflected back as children (I don’t know if you were one of them) the process of writing is in itself a mirror. And what better place to be surrounded by acceptance than outdoors?!

  3. Linden Wise says:

    I read your blog with such appreciation!
    Your thoughts on the natural world resonated and reminded me of a piece my 19 year old Lucie wrote last year about a challenging hike with fellow ranchers in which she was inspired to forge ahead by a coyote who appeared suddenly in their path. She has always been drawn to animals. Here’s what she wrote: “Everyone else was cowering but I was transfixed. I took in every detail of the sleek, sinewy animal staking out its territory, and I felt the confidence in its gaze. I have always seen it in the eyes of animals. Strong but never judging, loyal and loving, They are certain of their place in the world and sure of their path. Life beckons…”
    “Life beckons” could be a subtitle of your blog!
    Many thanks and warm regards,

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Dear Linden, I love that idea of “Life Beckons” as a subtitle of my blog! Thank you Lucie too for the beautiful observations and appreciation of animals and their example of acceptance without judgment. We learn so much from the natural world. I hope you and yours are thriving. Warmly, Eileen

  4. joaneee says:

    Eileen . . as soon as our children could walk, we made an hour in the nearby forest – looking for owls, finding the smallest and most beautiful mushrooms that shyly hid beneath the fallen logs,,a place so normal for us to go to that it became for us all an integral part of life. It also made for “togetherness” and a feeling of love, shared. In the quiet of nature, in the natural world, each of us find ourselves uplifted, renewed, and in some special locations we are “blown away”, stunned by the beauty we have seen. We find we cannot get enough. It is the one thing we make time for and always have, and now see that our children have followed in the same winding paths, making sure their own children early on find the wonders of nature seeping into their own hearts and souls. It makes me think I have done something right . . . and seeing the wonders of nature has drawn our family together as nothing else has.

    I call it love. Joan

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Oh I wish I had been with you on one or your escapades Joan. So many treasures to behold. I would have to agree it is love.

  5. Phyll says:

    Your beautiful rose
    The sound of crickets in the night,
    The fog so dense
    The seas so immense.

    Stars in the sky
    Inspire heavenly sighs.
    Laughter and lightness
    Giggles and brightness,

    Fun and frolic,
    Brownies & butterscotch, the best tonics.
    Gratitude, graciousness, grace
    Faith, freedom, crimson and lace,

    Dewy meadows, wide-eyed does,
    Majestic mountains, candles all aglow.
    Bubble baths,
    Forest paths

    My kitty’s purr on my chest
    Dancer’s nicker suits me best!

  6. Georgianna Eiland says:

    Being: I was told that I need to learn to decompress from the workday. So when I come home from work I try not to sit down and get to comfy for the evening. Instead I change clothes and go walk around our property or sit down by the creek and close my eyes listen to the sounds of nature. It really has helped me with the decompressing. Through out the day I will take the deep cleansing breaths where I take in as much air into my lungs and slowly let it out. All this helps me be one with nature, and relax.

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Thanks for taking me on a (virtual) walk to your creek with you! What a good example you set for decompressing after a busy day. Something I will remember, especially letting the air all the way out so my lungs are encouraged to take more in. Relaxing is so important.

  7. joaneee says:

    Eileen . . . I am also wishing the family a beautiful day on the weekend for your father’s 100th birthday. And as I am fond of Bruce Levingston, such a great name in contemporary music, who will be playing piano at the joyous time together for family, I too think that music — along with nature — does wondrous things as it seems to seep into the pores and lift us often to the heavens.

    What an added pleasure! Joan

    • eileenrockefeller says:

      Nice you know of Bruce Levingston. How do you know he is playing for the party?

  8. Timothy Clarke says:

    Hi Eileen, thanks for the motivation and I funnily enough got myself into present-tense focus and got to a beautiful Park and started to draw a Pastel of the last three giant Purple Iris Germanicus at Minoru Gate Pond in Richmond and for the next three days, on and off, and that was a great “Being” experience I needed. Fishing too, walking, watching clouds as you said. The work/meditation retreat, was also a great tester/warm-up for the coming art in the park season. Thank you for that!

    I always thought the Gregorian Chants and organs were very nice, when I heard them at St. Joseph’s Basilica in Montreal, also had that type of meditative quality. The Basilica too is a work of art, hand painted everywhere and a billowing organ.

    Storm watching too on certain times, when one can be at a safe and warm vantage point. On the West Coast of Vancouver Island there is Tofino and Pacific Rim Provincial Park and at the Wikaninish Inn people go there in the winter just to watch the big storms and you can feel the boom of the waves. Kovalam Beach in India too was nice to swim until the first monsoons, then only the craziest Aussies dared to go past the first set of breakers. But the waves were amazing to watch.

    On Bowen Island here and other coves, but hard to find, in the summer, despite the water around the Island and on the coast, being freezing, there are a couple of shallow coves with white pebbles and sand. And on a hot summer day, if you get a tide coming in during the afternoon, as the cove fills up, the hot sand and pebbles warm the water and one can float in the shallows, like it was an isolation tank, with the gentle waves coming in and knowing that they were pushing you in and not pulling you out into the currents, it is very relaxing.

    Wonderful piece of writing Eileen, it’s a great way of viewing ourselves in a larger loving system, as opposed to a cold dog-eat-dog world. Very beautiful way of viewing ourselves as a”part” in the greater order. It makes one feel more “held” within busy natural system/family of sorts. Very nice.

  9. Julie says:

    Dearest Eileen,
    Giving yourselves permission “to be” and not “do” transported me to the chaise lounge right next to you. Thank you. I thought of Mary Oliver’s description of prayer – to pay attention in nature and be silent and listen to the voices of creation. That’s what you were doing…..praying……and your prayer, the universal search for unconditional love, was answered. Would that all people everywhere could know the peace that comes from knowing that we are loved just because we are. You continue to give me the gift of your questions and your insights so clearly and honestly and courageously expressed. Thank you!!

  10. Thank you for your response Joan. It’s helpful to know when I’m striking a chord!

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