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

Sunday, July 12, 2015

To Soothe Your Soul

This beautiful, dew-laden leaf was waiting for me one sunny
morning just outside my cottage door, still fresh from its
 morning shower and not yet toweled off or wearing the drier 
face it would wear for the rest of the day. Sometimes seeing 
something at a time of day  different from the times we usually 
see them can bring glorious surprises and yes, beautiful photos. 
One year ago this week, I was deep in my giddy preparations for a trip to Maine to attend the Golden Apple Art Residency for two glorious weeks. While my primary purpose for being there (and the hat I wore most often) was as a writer, I also took time out from writing my latest book to share hundreds--and I'm talking about 1400--photos of the Residency grounds, in particular, and surrounding parts of Maine, in general.

Wow ... what a beautiful place. Maine is known for its beautiful piney woods, gorgeous shoreline, fishing, lobstering, crabbing, hard winters, blueberries, L.L. Bean, and rocks, rocks, and more rocks. I brought all the rocks home I could transport without being accused of stealing Maine right out from under its residents, and because I flew, I couldn't carry with me the 40 or so pounds of rocks I'd gathered. So I did the next best thing--I mailed them. Using the Post Office's all-you-can-fit-in-a-box-for-one-cost offering, I mailed those beauties home to me and believe me, I had a ball when my box of rocks came a few days later. (I'm not sure the mailman was all that thrilled with me, but hopefully, he/she will never know my face.)

While there, however, I was also transfixed with the beauty of Maine--and indeed of our planet in general. Because Golden Apple is situated on nine wooded acres of Atlantic Ocean coastline, the array of plants, trees, and yes, rocks is stunning, not to mention the water or what goes on out there. I couldn't turn around without finding something growing in the most unusual places (pine trees springing from solid rock, for instance), mushrooms sprouting from trees or piles of firewood, both wild and beautifully cultivated flowers around the property, and seashells. Not to be outdone by the plant life, the animal kingdom put in its two cents' worth with bald eagles soaring, seals honking in the evening hours, squirrels, beavers, even an otter, and the footprints of a moose who managed to stay hidden and away from my camera lens. (I'll get you next time, Bullwinkle.)

I guess what this all leads to is that some of the most beautiful, miraculous, and unusual sights of nature can be found almost anywhere if you look. And sometimes finding them is as simple as walking out your front door and looking down for a few moments before you start your day. As time goes on, you might want to look down a bit more often, finding even more beauty to astound you and soothe your soul. It won't be long before you find yourself looking for nature's beauty automatically.

And it's all free for the discovery in this glorious creation of our Heavenly Father's that we lucky humans call home.

See you along the trail...