I have discovered that 9 a.m. marks the advent of runners, dog walkers, and moms-with-strollers onto the sidewalks of downtown Plymouth, Michigan. Before then, the streets belong to the early people (a proud few of which I am a member), and the emptiness and quiet provide a sort of public privacy.
Because of this, as I meandered through my neighborhood one early morning, I didn’t think twice about singing to myself.
For the beauty of the earth
For the glory of the skies
It is an old, traditional hymn – not necessarily exciting or emotional. But sometimes old things last because their message transcends time.
Lord of all, to you we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise
Why was I singing an old church hymn to myself as I walked down my own familiar street? Because, I found myself smack dab in the middle of the beauty of the earth and the glory of the skies! The wind was tickling the leaves and they were moving through the soft morning light, and the sky was a remarkable blue. It wasn’t the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, but it was truly beautiful, and it stirred things up in my heart. All of it brought me to the One who is most Beautiful. And it filled me up so much that I had to start praising the Maker.
It was the best prayer time I’ve had in a while. I realized even more fully that “the Heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims His handiwork (Psalm 19:1).” That deliciously puffy cloud, that perfect flower, that enormous tree, they are all pointing to God, saying, “LOOK!” So, when you feel like He’s hard to reach, like you can’t hear Him and He seems far away, I challenge you to go find Him and His beauty in creation.
Never fear, ladies! I have some simple suggestions about how to fall in love with nature.
1. Go for a walk. Spend the entire time looking up! Not down at the sidewalk to avoid eye contact with the person passing you, and ESPECIALLY not down at your phone.
2. Lay on the grass under some trees and sky and just watch. For extra inspiration, listen to “Concerning Hobbits” from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, and read the poem “A Golden Day” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
3. Take someone you love on a walk to your favorite nature spot. Show them a beautiful place that is meaningful to you!
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY…
4. PRAY! Bring your prayer journal to a peaceful outdoor nook or go on a rosary walk!
Don’t miss out on all the glory and inspiration to be found out there! I know there are mosquitos and heat, but there are also little love notes from your Lord written all over the sky, the trees, the water and the earth. Walk outside, open your eyes, and prepare your heart for His beauty.