Finding Gratitude in Nature


Early this morning, I watched the sun streaming through the leaves of the massive Willow Oak that consumes our backyard. While the rest of the world was still silent,  I contemplated life and watched the ecosystem that exists in this lone tree.

Over a 120′ tall and with a span of some 80′, our tree has stood shelter for more decades than I care to guess. It is home to a community of squirrels, robins, cardinals and other ordinary birds.  At the very top of the tree, a pair of red-tail hawks nest each Spring, creating havoc among the community and helping themselves to the others’ young. At night, we see the occasional red tail fox pass by, on the hunt for his dinner in the shadows. The ruckus the system sometimes creates is part amusing, part painful to watch, but for them it works.  It has, I suspect, for generations.

As I sat and enjoyed my coffee and marveled at the creation of this world sitting right in my lawn, I couldn’t help but be thankful about the beauty of life that God give us. How he provides for my most basic of needs, giving just enough when I need it and taking away the things that cause disruption and distraction in my life.

I don’t profess to understand what keeps the squirrel nests from falling out of trees when the fierce winds blow, or knowing why birds’ tender feet don’t freeze in the Winter.  It amazes me that these creatures coexist as peacefully as they do, season after season, fully aware that the hawks sit above and the fox waits below.  It is one of the many things that I marvel about creation; how beautiful and wonderful it is and how, if we take the time to soak it all in and appreciate it, how truly amazing it is.

The mysteries of God’s creation is something to behold, be thankful for and find incredible comfort in.

Yes, there is something magical about sunlight streaming through the autumn leaves.  The rich golden and amber hues of the majestic Maples and Oaks seem to dance on the wind and beckon me to run away with them. As millions of leaves whisper their sweet secrets in the light, I find an energy that flows and brings to life anyone who stops and takes the time to breathe it all in.

That crisp snap of Autumn is in the air and it harkens an awakening in my soul that I love. It signals to me that change is in the air.  Cool nights, family togetherness, roaring fires and time spent snuggling under warm blankets to watch the stars…

Today, despite the many things awaiting on the “to-do” list, I think we will put a nice long walk in the Battlefield forest as a must do.  Taking time to enjoy creation, show gratitude for the beauty of the world God has given is going to the top of my list.

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