“Outdoor adventure and other recreational practices can express, evoke, and reinforce religious perceptions and orientations to natural and social worlds. Some participants in them understand nature itself to be sacred in some way and believe that facilitating human connections to nature is the most important aspect of their chosen practice. Such activities can be construed by scholars as “nature religion,” and profitably analyzed by comparing characteristics commonly associated with religion to the beliefs and practices of participants engaged in these activities.”
“Aquatic Nature Religion” three case studies that explore the religious, or religion-resembling aspects, of surfing, fly fishing, and whitewater kayaking. These studies provocatively ….conventional understandings of religion and pose anew the boundary question: Where does religion end and phenomena that are not religious begin?” Bron Raymond Taylor
“Nature worship is often considered the primitive source of modern religious beliefs and can be found….Common to most forms of nature worship is a spiritual focus on the individual’s connection and influence on some aspects of the natural world and reverence towards it.” (Wiki)
In its simplest manifestations for me, the outdoors is a sanctuary that renews, provides some indefinable spirituality and draws me more than any four walls of a church. I am not attempting to compete with formal religion or some Gaia/Pagan fantasy nor present the fervor of an ecobot.
I simply derive the strength and clarity for life from being outdoors more often than not. A True Religion for me and for many in my extended family. Whether it is fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, gardening or photography, being away from the pavement, urban sounds and the clock is an open door toward peace of mind and heart.