For the beauty of the earth...
Today I am enormously grateful for the beauty around me these days. Trees, flowers, children, dogs, grass, flowers, birds, squirrels, even tiny little lizards. I've even gone outside, spread a blanket or sheet on the front lawn and laid down. Just hanging out with Kristiana and Maya. Outside. Me. Whudda thunk it? Here I present you the photos to prove it.
There is something about trees, especially big trees that makes me want to take pictures. These trees on the campus of Clemson University in South Carolina have shaded generations of students, faculty members, visitors, athletes, fans, protesters, activists, families, wedding parties, soldiers, and others. These trees have been home to squierrels, birds, ants, bees, chipmunks, and countless other critters. And still they stand, wide and deep, high and broad.
This little critter appeared under the table where I was sitting at my son's tennis tournament last weekend. We stared at each other for a while, but when a dog approached, he disappeared for good... until he reappeared the next day. I didn't panic, scream, or try to kick it away. I watched it emerge slowly from its hiding place, cautiously explore the area, stick it tongue out dozens of times, and then slip back into its hiding place. That is big progress for me.
Teenaged boys can be sweaty, gruff, crude, and fiercely competitive. But they can also be funny, strong, polite, loyal friends who cannot wait to get off the tennis courts and hang out together. Notice how the three boys on the right all have their feet crossed. As tall as they are, as strong as they are, as gifted as they are, they are still kids, shy kids who cross their feet, and look for their mom's faces in the stands when they are having a tough match.
Maya and I were lying on the grass in front of the house yesterday. She repeatedly dug her face down into the turf, sniffing, twitching, and seemingly having a restful and relaxing time.
Then she heard the side door open. She was up on her feet instantly. Her big sister was approaching - and she was thrilled. They are the closest of siblings.
These are the scenes that justify one of Charlotte's nicknames: The City of Trees.
Who wouldn't love driving down a street like this?
Once again, I find myself agreeing with God -
when I look at all the things God made,
when I consider the bounty and beauty of this earth we call home,
I nod, smile, and concede: It is good. It is so very good.