Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Grasping the gifts of beauty and joy.

My yard is full of the color green.  We are fortunate to have a grassy yard and many trees.  We also have fruit trees, bushes, and flowering plants.  When I first moved here I didn't think we had many flowering plants.  It was lovely in green, but there wasn't a lot of color other than green.  When we lived in DRC, we were fortunate to have a large compound full of flowering plants that were tended carefully by the gardener and our good friend Pocolo (our oldest couldn't say "Uncle Bill" so he became "Pocolo").  I missed our flowers in DRC. 

Then, I realized that many of the plants and bushes in our yard did flower.  I would find myself surprised when I saw a gorgeous flower on a plant that I thought for sure was just leaves.  The next day I would grab my camera and the flower would be gone.  This kept happening.  I finally figured out we have a magical yard.  Beauty in the form of flowers, comes briefly and then disappears just as fast.

I've learned that if I'm not looking, I miss the gift.  If I am walking fast, I often notice a blooming flower.  But if I am too busy and I don't take the time to stop, it is gone by the next time I pass by the same plant.  I don't understand it.  Likely, if I was a botanist, it would make perfect sense. But since I'm not I instead am learning to slow down, stop, pull my kids over and soak in the beauty of an unexpected flower.

I'm trying to learn about these gifts.  I feel like the natural world is teaching my about life.  Our lives have been so busy and fast for the past 2 years.  Getting sick forced me to slow down.  Moving to Tanzania and not working also changed the pace of my life.  My oldest turned 7 years old last week.  I don't want to miss the beauty of these years in her life.  I don't want to be walking so fast that when I finally do slow down they are gone.  Like these flowers, I want to soak up the joy and beauty of the gift I have been given today.

The magic is the in the gifts God gives us that we often miss.  The gifts of beauty and deep joy.  I don't want to look back and feel regret that I didn't even see them when they were right in front of me, and I was too busy to notice.  

(All the flowers in this post are from my yard from days when I slowed down and grabbed my camera.  They are not blooming in my yard today.)

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