Surrounded by beauty

Last week the weather was chilly, rainy and gloomy, the leaves hadn’t really changed color enough to be pretty but all that changed this week. I noticed on Monday that the leaves were turning vibrant shades of yellow, orange and red. The sun was shining and it had warmth to it. Although the morning air was cool, the days warmed nicely and most of us shed our coats by noon.

I’m not sure what it is about beautiful autumn days that makes us want to be outside, but there is a magnetism drawing people to come look, smell, experience and enjoy nature.

Every year I tell myself that I am going to cruise through the park at Harsha Lake and look at the beautiful colors and every year I remember it after the leaves have all fallen. Not this year, I took the scenic drive home yesterday by way of the park and was in awe of the colorful trees.

I noticed that I wasn’t the only one cruising and enjoying the breath-taking scenery. There were a number of folks who, like me, didn’t seem to be in any big hurry to get anywhere. We all sort of mosied along, stopping from time to time to take a mental snapshot of the area and file it away in our brains to be brought from the recesses of our memory bank on a cold winter day. I did actually take a few photos, but they can never accurately portray the panoramic view which can only be experienced by “being there.”

I am a praying person, I speak to God throughout the day no matter where I am or what my circumstances. I was almost speechless yesterday in trying to thank Him for the beauty that He created. It never ceases to amaze me that the God who created the universe would care enough about us that He would paint the world with such lovliness. He could have had the leaves all turn brown and fall without much fanfare, but He chose to color the leaves with varying shades and hues to reflect His glory. Watching the sun shine through the yellow, orange and red leaves made me just want to offer my praise to God. I hope that the other people cruising through the park were offering their praises also.

All too soon the leaves will all be blown from the trees, the ground will be covered with their crunchy remnants and the world will become cold and drab, but for a few more days we can enjoy this beauty.

I went to Sycamore Park at lunchtime today. I took a short trip along the walk path and then my curiosity got the best of me and I had to explore the new nature trail. As I walked along, leaves were falling and cluttering my pathway and I could hear them crunch beneath my feet. Spending time hiking along that trail was like taking a mini vacation. It revived me and helped me keep my focus where it belongs, on the God who made this wonderful world.