We have been to early Mass and then our usual "out to breakfast" with friends. They are just back from vacation and full of stories. Our Priest is on vacation too. He is very young and is very sports minded. He is in Wyoming. He writes that Wyoming is one of the most beautiful places to see. They are in the back country... fly fishing for trout in some beautiful streams, rivers, and lakes. He reflects on the beauty of God's creation. He relates that with the busy hustle, bustle, world that we live in...sometimes it's easy to miss out on such beauty. A retreat up into the mountains helps to renew the natural awe of our Lord's beautiful creation.
Thinking about this on our way home....I started looking at the beauty around me. I'm not in the mountains or by a mountain stream...but I am in a beautiful spot on earth. We crossed the Rock River...the river is down and there were people sitting on small stools holding a fishing pole in hopes that they will catch the big one. The grassy area near the river has been flooded for weeks. It is grass again and the geese are wandering about saying, "Where did our shallow water go?" They are pecking at the earth...getting grubs and whatever they like for Sunday breakfast. Then we made a left turn and start up the hill toward home. A small farm is on the right. Last year there were two horses...now there are five. They have raised their young and now they are almost as big as Mom and Dad. Leaving the farm we meander farther up the hill. A couple of for sale signs have gone up. The house with the beautiful purple coneflower border is beginning to fade. The property belongs to an elderly couple and the yard gets the best of care. Thousands of purple coneflowers in mass plantings. A shady yard...so cool even on a hot day. We make a left turn and drive by all of our "down the street neighbors." Their tree banks are wild and natural as their lots are wooded. You can see that some are getting tired of gardening and the weeds are starting to take over. Some friends are keeping at it and it is still pleasant to see what they have blooming. We come to our house. Our yard is manicured...not wild and natural. Our area is not quite so woodsy. My plantings are neat around the house, but looking toward the back is my wonderful woodsy area. That is where I see God's beautiful creation. I have a bench there to sit on and watch the natural world each day. Beauty is everywhere...in a small balcony planter, a country roadside, the planter in front of the bank, the dentist's flower box, a garden at Church ...or in my own backyard. We are so lucky.