Taking a closer look at God's gifts...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Birch Bunny rodeo...

Ever wish you had this much energy? I know I do. Our bunny, Birch, loves to do his "happy hops" when he's out and about. I call it the bunny rodeo.

For the most part, Birch enjoys being holed up in his cage, safe and snuggled in his hay (or lying in his litter box). On occasion, though, his mommy, Darice, insists he come out for some exercise. At first he objects, scuttling to a corner of his cage under a shelf. Once we nab him, however, and he realizes he has a large, fenced-in area in the family room in which to cavort, he takes full advantage of it. It's good for him to run and jump, dashing from one side of the large enclosure to another and his mom knows this, even if Birch objects as only bunnies can--by stomping his back feet to display his displeasure.  (This is the best-cared-for rabbit in the world, by the way, with his own penned area that Mommy puts up and takes down on a regular basis.)

It doesn't take long before he remembers that he loves getting out and forgets all about being in his comfort zone. He jumps and twists, leaps and dashes, runs like mad and turns on a dime. He lets us know when he's bored by pulling at the carpet. In the rabbit world, that's a definite no-no. He might ingest a piece of carpet which would cause him (and Mommy) no end of grief, so the minute he starts to exhibit BBB (bad bunny behavior), back into the cage he goes.

I'm a lot like Birch. I like to inhabit my own safe little world and hesitate to take chances, explore beyond what I know (at least by myself), or exercise, for that matter. But God knows better and oftentimes I'm plucked, squirming and squealing, from my safe habitat and forced to take a chance or two. And like Birch, I inevitably remember that I love exploring new ideas, meeting new people, seeing and doing and reading and writing those things I don't usually think of or spend my time doing. Like Mommy with Birch, God knows what's best for me.

I should mention that I do draw the line between Birch and me when it comes to a couple of basic things. For one thing, I seldom sleep in the bathroom, and for another, I couldn't hop that high if a pack of coyotes were nipping at my heels. (I do stomp around once in a while, though.)

See you along the trail...

Friday, August 20, 2010

Buggy beauty...

Bugs are not my favorite of God's creations. While they serve a valued purpose, they are (for the most part), a creepy lot and I could do without running into any of them on a regular basis. But even the uglier things in this world have a certain beauty attached to them, if in no other way than in the intricacies of their design. No, this bee isn't as cuddly as a caterpillar or as delicate and friendly as a butterfly, but he (she?) is:  
1. colorful,
2. well designed,
3. industrious,
4. big-eyed,
5. long-legged,
6. gets the job done,
7. no doubt dislikes us about as much as we do him/her, and finally,
8. has the good sense to hang around beautiful, fragrant flowers. 

Maybe God thought we'd disturb bees and keep them from doing their all-important jobs if He made them cute and cuddly. Maybe He gave them stingers for the sole purpose of making sure we kept our hands off them and let them get on with the job He assigned them to do, i.e., pollinate, proliferate many species, and in some cases, make honey.

Come to think of it, even we humans aren't all that gorgeous all the time. Maybe bees view us (with those enormous buggy eyes of theirs) with a shudder and comment to one another that they hate it when we get in the way by hanging around their workplace, cutting down their flowers and swatting at them and just plain buzzing around them annoyingly.

I guess it's all a matter of point of view.

See you along the trail...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Silver lining...

If you look closely at this photo, you can see a fish or two--silver salmon, to be exact. While they were easy to spot in the stream in person, on film they take on a shimmery, almost Monet-like quality. At first glance, I was disappointed in the picture, but upon further reflection, I decided that seeing them this way makes me appreciate their beauty all the more.

Fish in a stream aren't the only things in nature that can be looked at in more than one way. We all know what a difference it can make when scenery is viewed at sunset as opposed to sundown, in bright sunlight or shrouded in fog, snow-covered, frozen in ice, clothed in brilliant hues, or barren and devoid of any external or superfluous trappings. (I know I look a lot better in soft lights than I do in the harsh sunlight--or, Heaven forbid, first thing in the morning.) 

Just taking a closer look, via my zoom lens, at the same fish (or one who looks remarkably like him) in this second photo gives me a greater appreciation of his coloring and the intricacies with which God created him. Sometimes, all it takes is a second look at something we've seen a hundred times before to remind us that there is beauty in all that God gave us. It might require more than the cursory glance; we might even have to dig a little to find it. And granted, I wouldn't want to cuddle with this fish, but he's still a shiny reminder that our Heavenly Father took great care in all that He created.

To make him (or her) all the more amazing, he and his co-swimmers were doing their darndest to climb a ladder, spawn, and then die--all in the name of continuing the species. Seems like a lot of trouble to go to on the chance he'll make it without getting caught by a fisherman or snagged by a hungry bear. But over and over again, we witnessed their heroic leaps to reach their final destination. Death was inevitable, but life would be the ultimate outcome. Isn't that part of the beauty of God's plan? This slippery guy, in his own slick, silvery way, is a reminder that even though the journey inevitably ends in death, life will result. Talk about a silver lining! Sound familiar?

See you along the trail...