A few weeks ago our family headed out on a bike ride on a trail near our home. Partway through the ride we unloaded everyone out of the bike trailers and headed off the path to do a little exploring. We soon found a pathway that demanded exploring. As I led everyone down the path I soon realized this was a bit of an unusual walking path. We were ducking under fallen trees and wading through burrs. I could see the creek up ahead and was curious to see the water level and where it lead to. Our path led us right to the creek and to a large patch of beaten down grass, a lone, scratched up tree, and a giant hole in the ground. I realized that I had just led my little children to a coyotes’ den.
While I knew better than to say anything, I did, and of course, our little girls were frightened and we bounded back up the path in record time! In the coyotes’ defense, I hear they are quite harmless, but when I hear them at night behind our house I do feel a bit uneasy. :)
As we rode home, my husband and I were riding side by side on our bikes and he looked at me and said, “I think I just got a taste of your childhood right there.” I smiled and assured him that yes, I spent a lot of time turning over rocks, catching frogs, wading, and exploring in the fields behind my childhood home. I have often wondered how this interaction with nature has benefited me. If I would practiced math more would I be more “scholarly?” If I would have put together model airplanes, like my husband, I would have more skills to help my daughter with all of the artsy things she wants to create. If I would have put my hand to a sewing machine, then I could sew amazing dress-ups and quilts for my children. The list goes on…I’m guessing we all ask ourselves these questions from time to time–the “what-ifs.” While I know there can be positive aspects to this type of self-reflection, it can also get a little discouraging! I decided that rather than ask myself “Why didn’t I?” or “What if I…,” I needed to ask myself, “What did I?” and “What did it do for me?”
I had a chance to escape on a run last week after my husband returned from work. I was surrounded by Autumn. The leaves were spiraling down from the trees, the air was crisp, and there was a perfect warm sun setting in the west. I stopped and faced the sun, stretched, and watched the world stand still. At that moment I felt my answer. All those hours spent feeling rocks underneath my bare feet, or watching a lady bug walk along a blade of grass were my opportunity to build a relationship with God. In quiet moments I learned of Him and His creations. I believe in a Heavenly Father who created us and this amazing universe that we are a part of.
One of my favorite visual reminders that God is there is captured perfectly in this time-lapse video of the milky way that a friend of mine made.
Perhaps part of the reason I love it so much is that it reminds me of home, but I also love how it reminds me that God is there.Image courtesy of: http://www.lemonbayconservancy.org/dunson_lazyafternoon_pond.htm Video courtesy of: Peter McKellar