#nature

THE WONDER OF SHOOTING STARS

 

 

We arrived at the beach at 2:45 in the morning…why, you ask, at such an early hour?

because that was the best time to see shooting stars from the Orionid meteor shower.

 

But the full moon’s light made shooting stars almost impossible to see with the eye…and adding insult to our injury clouds were blanketing the sky.

 

So with the reason we came to the beach thwarted…from the sky we turned our attention away…and immediately noticed how the light from the moon overhead made the nighttime seem more like the day.

 

We noticed how at first we were mesmerized by the silence stretching across the land…until we heard the faint call of the ocean…whispering across the sand.

 

We noticed her voice never rose above a whisper…as across the sand it swept…

as if she was consciously keeping her voice low…while the animals of the daytime slept 

 

We noticed how the moon, itself, was quite beautiful…how she really put on a show…illuminating the clouds above us…while making the sands below our feet glow.

 

We noticed how the glowing sand felt cool beneath our feet…

We noticed how the chilly breeze off the ocean made us forget the usual Florida heat.

 

We noticed by the water’s edge…a family of birds out for an early morning treat…and we wondered, with no worms around, what do the early birds at the ocean eat?

 

But most of all we wondered if this beach in the moonlight…natural…untouched…pristine…was the way God intended to create it…the way it was meant to be seen.

 

There on our blanket in the sand…we realized how lucky we are…

and surrounded by the beauty of so many miracles …we forgot about shooting stars.

 

Yes, we came to the beach in the middle of the night to feel the wonder of those shooting stars…knowing seeing them is quite rare….

but we quickly realized…

the wonder was not in the shooting stars

the wonder was in being there.

 

TOOK MY BREATH AWAY

 

 

The moon was still shining bright and…as the sun rose…they began to play…and I felt blessed I was there to witness the birth of a new day.

 

Last nights rain clouds, now empty, still lingered in the sky…as pelicans and ibises and starlings sailed by.

 

The moon began to dim…her nightly job she knew was done…as she happily relinquished the day to her partner and good friend…the sun.

 

It’s as if the moon had turned around…in search of her next night…bidding a fond farewell to the clouds and their canvases of white.

 

The clouds, for their part, were happy to join in on the fun…they stood tall and proud and ready…to be painted by the sun.

 

The sky…only a moment ago infused in an ebony black hue…began her metamorphosis into a cerulean sky blue.

 

With the blue sky as her backdrop…the sun without constraints and with a brush on every ray of light…she began to paint.

 

She painted fast and furiously…each cloud constantly changing like the colors of a flame…and I thought…how amazing she’s been painting since the dawn of time…yet no two paintings are the same.

 

Her paintings are ephemeral…at the beginning of each day…and each new brush stroke…each new painting…took my breath away.

 

I became aware of the silence…how all the noise around me suddenly decreased…

and at how the morning breeze…in that same moment…suddenly had ceased…

 

And it occurred to me the Earth was also watching the birth of a new day….

and just like me…the wonders she was witnessing…took her breath away.

 

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ACORNS IN THE SNOW

 

 

Since we were created as part of nature…part of her trees…her mountains…her brooks…it’s no wonder we find comparisons to nature…everywhere we look.

 

For instance…I often think how we, as babies, are similar to acorns in the snow…how we’re both created in innocence…how there’s so much we don’t know.

 

How we look to our parents to help us with our daily climb…while the acorn looks to Mother Nature with the help of Father Time.

 

How we look to our family for guidance…for support…to teach to explain…to coax…while the acorn looks to its family comfortably nestled among the oaks.

 

How we both start out so tiny…so fragile…a diminutiveness that, at first, hides…to the innocent observer…the potential housed inside.

 

Yes, how often I have thought we, as babies, are similar to acorns in the snow…and how we both need warmth and nurturing if we ever are to grow.

 

Which is why I pray all parents learn from nature and understand how strong…how solid…how tall that tree will grow…

depends on how they care for…

that acorn in the snow.

 

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THE CHILD THAT IS NATURE

Is it possible nature is but a child?

Let me try to verify:

She loves to play with crayons…

have you seen the way she paints the sky?

 

She colors over everything…she never stays within the lines...

When she’s hungry her stomach grumbles…

In the wind sometimes she whines.

 

She laughs at all the little things…she gets tickled by the breeze…

Her attention changes quickly…from the flowers to the trees.

 

She often cries for no reason…she is changing every day

sometimes...she might smell bad...other times...like a bouquet.

 

She fills our days with sunshine…she’s a constant source of light

and just like any baby…she needs her sleep at night.

 

With nature, each day is an adventure…you never know what to expect

perhaps nature…

like a child…

is something we should try more to protect.

 
 
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A WALK AMONG THE GIANTS

 

 

Joyce Kilmer began his now famous poem:

I think that I shall never see…a poem as lovely as a tree

and the older I grow…the more I walk among them…

the more with Mr. Kilmer I agree

 

His beautifully simple poem…written in 1913…as a tribute to the tree…is what brought us to the Joyce Kilmer forest…in Robbinsville…NC.

 

After a beautiful drive in the country…at the entrance we arrived

and we realized we were here 30 years ago..with our children and Deborahs’s dad while he was still alive.

 

As the memories washed over us…memories with one another we exchanged…we thought how our life is so different 30 years later…but this forest hasn’t changed.

 

In truth…the trees have grown a little older…some have fallen…and their wrinkles aren’t as small…but when we stopped to think about it…that has happened to us all.

 

It’s a virgin forest (meaning it’s never been logged)…and is truly a sight to behold…There are 100 species of trees…some standing 100 feet tall…many over 400 years old.

 

As we began to walk among these giants…we didn’t travel very far…before once again realizing how huge are the trees that surround us…and how minuscule we are.

 

We’d find one of these behemoths…then at it’s base the two of us would stop…We’d turn our eyes to the heavens…but we could not see the top.

 

We noticed each tree is like a high rise apartment…some standing alone…others interweaved…with a host of animals, insects and plants living among their bark, their branches…their leaves.

 

Walking in the midst of these ancient giants…we felt blessed…we felt a joy within us release…..our hearts seemed to beat a little slower and our inner souls found peace.

 

His poem is not a very long poem…it ends as it began…quite lyrically…stating: poems are made by fools like me…but only God can make a tree

 

We added new memories to our old ones…

in a virgin forest we once visited 30 years before……

and as I try to put our feelings into a poem…

Mr. Kilmer I couldn’t agree with you more.

 
 
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LIFT THE CURTAIN OF SILENCE

 

Nature was created in silence…her beauty meant to endear

but if we look behind her curtain of silence…what wonderful sounds we hear.

 

Lift the curtain on a forest path…listen to the breeze…

pause next to a field of wildflowers…listen to the bees.

 

Lay your ear against the wrinkled trunks and listen to the trees

Next to a lake after a winter snow…listen to the freeze.

 

Stop before the opening in the rocks…listen to the cave.

Stand along the shoreline…listen to the waves.

 

Turn your head up to the heavens…then gently close your eyes…

listen to the clouds as they soar across the sky.

 

Listen to the stars at night…you can almost hear their dreams.

Linger on the riverbank…listen to the stream.

 

Behind her curtain of silence…nature conducts her symphony.

Behind her curtain of silence…you will find her harmony.

 

Behind her curtain of silence…softly filling the air…

a myriad of wonders…waiting for you there.

 
 

THE BEAUTY OF THE FOG

 

We went on a hike to the top of a mountain…on a morning still sprinkled with dew…

anticipating all the way up..and once at the top..we were in for some wonderful views.

 

We knew we would see forever…in the sky…high above the pines

but the more we walked..the more we realized nature had other designs.

 

A fog rolled in…obstructing our view….covering the land surrealistically 

so we focused on what was in front of us…all the things we were able to see…

 

We saw the beauty of the fog…the way it moves…how to the trees and mountains it clings.

We noticed how, even in the fog, flowers bloom and birds continue to sing.

 

We watched at times the fog soar up and other times crawl across the trees…and we wondered does the breeze control the fog or does the fog control the breeze. 

 

We felt the fog roll over us…like ghosts floating through the air

leaving behind a bit of dampness…on our clothes…on our hands…in our hair.

 

We noticed that moisture on the flowers and plants…making them shine as it helps them to grow…we saw how the fog in the distance…covered the land like a blanket of snow… 

 

We noticed there was magic in the fog…magic we never knew…

turning trees into magicians as they faded in…and then out of our view.

 

We found more magic in a large rock surrounded by rose petals…

and although the ceremony was through…

we imagined a couple standing there…

smiling…both of them saying I do.

 

Yes…we went looking for beauty on the mountain….

we had a certain kind of beauty in our heads…

but unable to see the beauty we came for…

we found our beauty in the fog instead.

 

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A MOUNTAIN RAIN

 

 

The sun has surrendered to the clouds…now only a suggestion of the mountains remain…as we sit upon the porch swing…and listened to the rain.

 

There is a rhythm to the sound…it rises and falls upon the breeze

and we marvel how some raindrops find their way onto the ground

while others linger in the trees.

 

We find ourselves drawn to our bed…as raindrops cascade from the sky

the soft music they’re composing…creating the perfect lullaby…

 

As we close our eyes and listen…to her music soft and deep

we find the melody so soothing…we drift…slowly…off to sleep…

 

Until we hear a tapping…upon our window pane

and we smile when we realize…we’ve been awakened by the rain…

 

We walk back to the porch swing…as the rain beguiles and enthralls

and we find strength among the raindrops…for they are not afraid to fall…

 

And we find happiness in the rain…where others may find gloom

for we understand the sky must weep…if the flowers are to bloom.

 

The rain stops as quickly as it began…the mountains all return

as nature once again reminds us…of all we have to learn…

 

Like how, in a gentle afternoon shower,

there is so much to be gained

if one stops to take a moment…

and listen to the rain.

 
 
 
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SUNSET IN A BIRD

 

 

We went to the top of a mountain…up a mountain road we wound our way

because we know it’s the perfect place to watch the sun set on the day.

 

We never tire of watching a sunset…for each one is unique 

The sky is ever-changing as the sun and clouds play hide-and-seek.

 

There is something soothing…mesmerizing…watching another day go to bed…as colors stretch across the sky in shades of yellow, orange and red.

 

I guess you could say, as far as sunsets, Deborah and I are fans…but this evening as we stood atop the mountain the sun and clouds had other plans.

 

This evening’s sun was bashful…she seemed a lttle shy…choosing to hide behind the clouds as they spread across the sky.

 

But we were not upset…on a mountain top…surrounded by the trees..

for even a sunset with no sun…is a beautiful sight to see.

 

With no sunset to watch…our eyes found so many other sights to see…

For instance…a group of little birds as they landed in a nearby tree.

 

They were a little distance away but we noticed how the tree they landed in shook…

so I ran to the car, got our binoculars…so we could get a closer look

 

There on the mountaintop…unable to watch the sunset we adore…

we saw, instead, a group of birds we had never seen before.

 

A google search led us to cedar waxwings…and I admit we were both stunned

because the cedar waxwing has the same colors of our bashful setting sun.

 

The little orange atop its head looked kind of like a veil…

The red showed up on the tip of its wings…they yellow on its tail.

 

To top it off…we were serenaded by this previously, to us, unseen bird

with one of the softest sweetest birdsongs we have ever heard.

 

Yes, we came to the mountain to watch a sunset…

but when that sunset was obscured….

we were blessed…

oh how we were blessed

to find our sunset in a bird.

 
 
 
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