The woods declare the Glory of God. This was the thought that came to me as I took a walk this weekend. It has been my experience that everything is a lesson but I find that nature is an exceptional teacher. Each stroll or view provides new insights into who I am and where I fit in the creation. Each meditation on the beauty in the stillness speaks volumes better than the A – Z in my old Britannica Encyclopedia.
Take a walk with me in these woods, silent except for bird and cricket song. The scent of pine occasionally breezes by. The soft floor of old leaves, moss and acorns provides a silencing of footfall and a gentle ground to stand. Some trees are so tall, high above our heads as they reach for the sunlight. Others, small and thin sit in their shadows with anticipation of growth. Some of the larger trees bear scars of natures effects, broken branches, leaning and bent in unusual growth. The sun which covers the tallest of tree tops filters down to gently touch the ground in a mosaic of light and dark. The smallest trees and bushes receiving only a small ray of the warmth. It is peaceful, it is beautiful, it is in some places rough and dark.
What did you notice or feel? I became aware of challenges. I wondered did the slow growth and protection of the small struggling trees create a stronger taller tree in the end? I think, they can’t uproot themselves to move into the sunlight so they must grow upward. I see children, ours, who struggle in shadows, I see elders, bent and scarred yet still tall and strong with the experiences of growth brought about by things they could not control. And in their lofty stance protecting the little ones. In the sunlight I felt the Creator of it all dappling down and calling each one to grow. It was then I thought, the Woods declare the Glory of God.
May today provide an awareness of God in nature and an insight into challenges.
Everything is wet….rain and more rain creating soggy ground and it seems a mushy brain and body. Still, the new plantings in the garden grow taller by the minute and their greens become greener. Droplets glisten on their leaves. For me a time to sit and read, clean out a closet and take a nap. . A rainy day can be splendid after a week of hot dry days. But a rainy week?? After a few days I become lazy, I feel too tired to take on any chores or read (as that seems to send me directly to nap-time).
I made an attempt, really I did. In the yoga studio I practiced sun salutations with the intention of warming up my inner being, getting that light to shine from within. I forced myself to tidy up some spaces and prepare for upcoming events, but the things I usually like to do were onerous. And on this particular Sunday I attended the funeral of a long-time family friend.
Now this week of rain seems different. It is still wet and even soggier in the garden but the plants are not complaining. Perhaps they know that warmer, drier days will be coming so they drink it all in now. Death reminds us of our terminal physical nature and a funeral in the rain seems appropriate. The hearts of those who remain are waterlogged with grief yet still full of wonderful memories and blessings for having known such a man.
There is no controlling the weather; there is no keeping back the rain, or the tears. Our physical mortality eventually claims us. . There is a time for everything and in the every things a time for us to drink it all in. Learn lessons, clean out the closets, take a nap and wait, for the sun will come out. Life has changed as it is always doing and I can choose to turn my face to the rain, slosh my feet in the puddles or take a nap. Whichever I choose, I pray to do it with an awareness of the blessings that arrive even when the rain keeps coming. At the end of the day it is my faith in God that opens my eyes to the blessings of the rain, the continuity of life in changing seasons and the hope of life eternal.
May you have a blessed week no matter the weather.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18