The Beauty of the Earth

“For the beauty of the earth, for the beauty of the skies, for the love which from our birth, over and around us lies; Lord of all, to thee we raise this our hymn of grateful praise.”

Looking Up

It was a day with clouds but enough blue sky to inspire a walk in Town of Hayward Recreational Forest.
The path I walk is wide in many places and the sky is visible as a backdrop for the trees. How seldom I remember to look up to see how awesome the TOP of the forest is.
We are seeing the fall colors coming on quickly. The maples are turning red.
And yellow. And orange.
The pines are straight and tall, so tall it’s hard to picture their height.
Even the dead, decaying ones make me look at them, and admire how useful they are as habitat for animals and insects.

Looking Out

The pond is wild, murky, reflective, full… and the shores are beginning to be decorated.
Fall has its barren places and looks. The dark water fascinates me when it turns into blue sky and white clouds.
Smaller paths through the woods get my attention
Even though at times they almost disappear. Finding a small clearing with a splash of sunshine is worth getting “lost”. (I wasn’t lost, really.)
There is a bench where I sit and look at this tree and wonder why it is so different from others, so prominent, simple… a minimalist tree?

Looking Down

It’s easiest to look down, and I tell myself that it’s safest too. There’s a lot down underfoot.
Some oak dropped this gift in the middle of the path. I think it was for me.
And this little maple is finishing its first summer with four red leaves which don’t have far to fall to the ground.
I always wonder why God made fungus so cute and fanciful.
See what I mean?
See?
Designed, orderly, yet unique and randomly beautiful.

Thank you for taking this autumn walk with me.

Soul Medicine

This created world… When I cannot write, I wander away from the house and look. I can’t help but think that God is sending messages to counteract confusion, fear, anger, and despair, if people will look. These things are here in my world to make me examine, wonder, hope and lose myself and my anxious thoughts for a moment, at least. I am so thankful. For sight and things to see, for hearing and sounds to hear, for mobility, for safety. I may not have these things always and that is okay, for I have them now. I wish I could package them up and send them to everyone who needs beauty, and peace, everyone who wishes for something to be grateful for. But this is the best I can do.

The most amazing thing is that you, and I, and all people, ALL PEOPLE, are the masterpiece of his creation, and all this beauty was put here for us. If we could only look into each other’s eyes and see something far more beautiful than anything in nature. “Made in his image” is how he put it, and capable of so much more than we are doing now. I feel the sadness in this, but I don’t think there is a problem that God doesn’t have an answer for.

Oh Look!

We were just walking along, talking more than looking where we were going because we were both very familiar with the street.  Then my walking buddy said “oh look, this guy feeds the parrots”.  She knew the guy and had been aware of his birding hobby.  It had started small and grown exponentially to three feedings per day for hundreds of birds.

they are larger than  most parakeets, more parrot sized.
they are larger than most parakeets, more parrot sized.

We were only a few feet away from the bird feeder in his yard which was draped, top and all sides, with large bright green birds with black feathered heads.  They were taking turns, in what seemed like family groups, coming to the feeder and then retreating to surrounding trees and electric lines.  I started looking around to see other groups of the same bird in all directions until I was amazed at their numbers.

“How does he afford this? Sunflower seeds aren’t that cheap?” My friend didn’t know.  I wondered if the easy food hadn’t figured into their increasing numbers.  I hadn’t seen the parrots anywhere else and yet they must live somewhere when they weren’t here.  How did they know to come at certain times? What made them so orderly?  I walked close and took pictures and it didn’t seem to bother them.

Later the man who did the feeding rode past on his bike.  He had seen me taking pictures and we already had a bond over our bird excitement. I asked him if the noise they made bothered the neighbors.

“Not as much as when the crows come and chase them away,” he laughed. Black hooded parakeets, that’s what he said they were.

I couldn’t quit thinking about how unusual it was to see that kind of animal/bird gathering, not an everyday experience for me.  I could have walked past and not paid attention, but thankfully this time I noticed and enjoyed and decided to share this little gift with y’all.  Just sayin’.

Black hooded parakeets having breakfast.
Black hooded parakeets having breakfast.