Saturday, October 29, 2011

Walking the Nature Trails

The path opens to a clearing larger than a football field.  Waist high brome grasses sway slightly in a gentle waltz with the nearly imperceptible breeze.  Nearby branches of the trees merely watch the waltz, too heavily laden with yellow-green hedge apples to dance.  On the far side of the field lies a painter’s palette of trees, just beginning to show their colors—green, yellow, orange, brown, and rust, accented by splashes of bright red sumac and strong, dark, tree trunks.  Wildflowers once stood in this field.  Three and four foot high dried stalks now cover the meadow, their seed heads white and full, ready to release millions of umbrella ribs to flower another field.

Eager to get to the bridge and the swollen stream, I risk a quick crossing of the muddy path.  My right foot sinks three inches into the soft black ooze, but I make it safely to the bridge.  The recent rain has forced the creek out of its bed.  Noisily it rushes through unfamiliar territory, over its former banks and around tree trunks, its strength rippling the mud-brown water, carrying foamy bubbles downstream.  The rushing water rocks the dying trees, tipping them on their sides from the water’s force, but their roots hold firm against its assault.  One tree reaches toward the flood, its green and yellow leaves bending toward the water like a girl bending over to wash her hair. 

A man in a bright orange shirt jogs by on the muddy path, his leashed German shepherd loping at his side.  For a moment, I think how alone and vulnerable I am.  But the rushing water quickly lulls me back to my peaceful reverie.  The surface ripples, like a cat flexing the muscles on its back.  Walking to the far side of the bridge, not watching where I am going, I step in the mud again and my foot slips, nearly dumping me on my backside.  Perhaps it is time to head for home?  Reluctantly, I amble across the bridge, promising myself to return soon.

As I walk home, I realize how seldom I take advantage of these nature walks a mere quarter mile from my home.  The peace, beauty, and serenity of God’s handiwork lie just outside my front door to enjoy whenever I choose.  How seldom I choose! 

Lord, forgive me for those many times that my nearsighted eyes fail to see Your grandeur.  Open my eyes to behold Your glory.

Amos 5:4b “Seek me and live.”

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to be on the walk with you. We have to enjoy these awesome days after the horrid summer. I am still wondering about the mud. No rain in Hutch yet. Love the simile about the bending trees and the girl washing her hair.