Soul and nature are only slightly different ways of talking about the essence of a thing, whether a stone, a blossom, or a person. The soul of a blossom is its essential nature. Our human souls consist of those aspects of self that are most natural, that are most of nature—the aspects of self to which nature herself gave birth.

Nature depends on us to embody our souls. The world cannot fully express itself without each of us fully expressing our selves; diminished human soul means diminished nature. Just as nature longs for the embodiment of our souls, our souls long for a world in which nature can embody itself fully and diversely.

When, at long last, we gaze into our own depths, we see the same kind of enchantment and resilience we see in undisturbed nature. And when we journey far enough from the routines of our civilized lives—in space or in cultural distance, far enough, that is, into wilderness—we see reflected back to us the essential qualities of our deepest selves.

— Bill Plotkin
Soulcraft. Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche