Monday, June 15, 2015

Nature = Love

Here's more evidence that God loves us: nature is beautiful.

For those of you unaware, we've had a deluge of rain in Texas this year. Serious flooding about a month ago, in fact. But after many years of drought, rain is a glorious sight, too. Everything is so green and lovely.

I walk around the neighborhood with our dog and marvel at the beauty of the world God gave us. All the green. So many shades of green. Such a soothing color, green. Soft and gentle in the grasses of the lawn and the leaves on the trees and bushes.

And the contrast of the green leaves against the bright blue of the sky is remarkable. Somewhere in my very limited science fiction exposure, I read a novel about a world where the sky was pink or something. And of course, on every other planet, where there is no atmosphere, you only see dark space. I like the option given us.

 I have discovered in recent years that I have a particular affinity for texture. I prefer woven baskets to smooth flat boxes. And I love looking at the various uses of stone and brick in our neighborhood -- in the mailboxes, in the driveways, in planters and steps, even in the houses themselves.

And the sparkle of the flowers sprinkled here and there. Just in our front yard, we have lantana, esperanza, plumbago, and another purple flower that Charlie my plant-knowledgable neighbor can't identify for me. Plus the cactus is just about to bloom. Orange, yellow, red, and purple surprises accenting the soft greens and browns. Big and bold . . . or small and delicate . . .

In Texas (at least in our part of Texas, but I've heard it's a state-wide thing), there are wildflowers growing along all the roadways. The famous bluebonnets pop up to signal the start of spring here, but even now that they are gone, there are still flowers everywhere.

Walking around our neighborhood, I'm entranced by the sights . . . and sounds. Birds chirping. What a great idea that was! Again, such a calming thing to sit in our courtyard area and hear birds, twittering to each other, singing to the blue sky. Bright green lizards and fuzzy brown squirrels scamper up and down our maze of live oaks. Blue jays and other birds I'm not informed enough to pin a name to light on the edge of our stone fountain to get a drink or a quick shower.

And the fountain! Water! Water is an essential to our existence, but God didn't have to make it such a pleasing thing to the eye. Or the ear. The sound of water gurgling, or flowing, or crashing in waves . . . we record those sounds and listen to them in our urban apartments to drown out the car horns and sooth our troubled souls.

Again, God didn't have to make any of our environment beautiful. He was under no such obligation to us; life itself was his greatest gift, and He could have stopped there. We could live on a planet of empty vastness like the moon. We could live in broad deserts of nothingness (not that deserts don't have their own grandeur, but still). We have beauty, in various forms, all of which ease our souls and draw us to Him, if we let it.

Thanks, Lord. I'm gonna go take a walk now.

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