As days grow colder, the trees gradually drop the gaudy garlands of leaves masking their true strength and beauty. Even so do we, as adversity’s chilling winds efface the sunshine in our lives, drop our masks, revealing our inner nakedness and humility. Others watching marvel, overwhelmed by our true beauty. As distresses fall, like freezing snow, upon our boughs we become ever more beautiful to the beholding eye. Old dead branches fall away and our inner soul is strengthened.
My first morning joy is to step out on my balcony. You can see why! Wonder and appreciation for the beauty of nature is one of the purest forms of worship. How I love that God is an artist too!
Oh how profound the lessons we find within a tree,
As gales begin to blow, and surf is raised at sea.
Were their boughs to steadfast stand, unyielding to the end,
They’d all soon break asunder. Instead, they gently bend.
For dancing in the breezes and blowing in the storm,
They may lose leaves or branches, but nothing more’s the norm.
Let’s follow their example, with roots held strong and firm,
In all life’s gales and blusters, the flexible let’s learn.
When life blows up a hurricane, let’s bend before the gale,
And dance, enjoy the toss around, as on the wind we sail.
Autumn is breaking in all its multicoloured splendour. Flaming ivy on the wall, lakeside trees tinted orange and yellow, the mornings a chill fog, evenings needing a comfy blanket to cuddle in. Winter has yet to show its face, no need to turn the heating on quite yet. Thick sweaters grace the cupboard again, ready, but not quite needed yet. Strappy T shirts and shorts, sundresses and sandals are packed away. Summer fades behind us. Like trees dropping leaves we forsake summer dreams. Christmas is glimpsed on the far off horizon; meanwhile we gaze in wonder at the beauty of decay transforming the world in glorious hues.
I opened my curtains early this morning to my own personal sunrise. Not through the window, as one would expect, but on the wall opposite. My grandfather’s old handmade matchstick church and the bonsai tree were surrounded by a brilliant, flaming glow of red and orange light, just as if the sun were rising behind them.
A large tree obstructs my view of the sunrise (at least till autumn comes) but the sun shining through a tiny gap had created the glorious vision above my book shelf.
How like life, while we cannot yet see the full beauty of the eternal realities they are sometimes reflected in mundane objects (like my wall) and for a moment we embrace their beauty, but are unable to effectively pass it on to others. My photographic skills couldn’t capture the colour, due to the dim light (with flash no colour/ without flash just black). I can only offer a meager description which cannot catch its glory. Even so some things in life can only be shared by those who have also glimpsed them.
I woke delighted this morning to see lights dancing through my curtain (the sun rises behind a large tree outside my window). It reminded me of the beauty and diversity of creation, the small things God incorporates to make our lives more beautiful and joyous.
For me the infinite diversity and beauty of creation and our ability to appreciate it are some of the greatest proofs of his existence. Evolution cannot explain our appreciation of beauty. It has no practical purpose in our survival, but I’m so glad of its enrichment.
Currents surged and tossed her,
Sharp prongs tore at her flesh in passing.
She was overwhelmed.
The surge of humanity,
The tide of evil,
The depths of depression.
Disorientated she could not find the light,
The way to the sky she remembered as a child.
She sank beneath the weight of her wounds.
As muscle relaxed,
A force of nature revived.
Her being floated slowly upward
Towards its natural element
Light and air burst upon her
Filthy water streamed from her face
Eyes encompassed by light rejoiced.
She saw an extended hand and grasped it
Yielding all to the strength of its creator.
Once you have started seeing the beauty of life, ugliness starts disappearing. If you start looking at life with joy, sadness starts disappearing. You cannot have heaven and hell together, you can have only one.
It is your choice.
Photo © Kok Leng Yeo