I never thought about it before but I have come to appreciate having big open fields around my house. We have a couple of small wooded areas but for the most part we have open spaces: a large pond (or a small lake, if we’re being generous) to the south, corn fields to the north and tree windbreaks some distance away to the east and west.
I not only appreciate the unfiltered sunlight for my herbs and vegetables but I have a panoramic view of the sky at all times. I love watching the incredible shapes, colors and moods of the clouds surrounding me. On stormy summer nights it is breathtaking to go out on the deck after the storm has passed and watch the lightening show miles away with the stars overhead.
Maybe it’s because I’m outside more now than I ever have been since I was a child but I have become much more aware of the unique shapes of the clouds as well as their varying colors, the constellations and the falling stars, amazing moon rises and beautiful sunsets. I know the best spot to look for the rainbows and sun dogs on cold January mornings.
Last week’s unceasing formidable winds have made me think about our place in nature a bit. We can plant trees and build windbreaks to block it, but no matter how much scientific knowledge we acquire or how technologically advanced we may become, we still can’t control the wind.
It makes me think of an art history class I took in college. We can study a great painting and discern the medium the artist used, the lighting techniques employed and the type of canvas…but there was still an artist behind what is visible who created the painting in the first place. I am reminded when I look at the creation, that unlike a student studying a painting, I am a part of it, not an outside observer.
“One of the greatest wonders of creation is that God uses our natural world to alert us to His presence” (Margaret Feinberg).