Every week I write a post called “Not Quite Ordinary Observations” for my family blog. It’s a post of sentence starters that make me stop and really ponder my day and events of the week before. I love writing that post, and I love the way it has made me pay closer attention to the little details of each day.
The first thought starter is In the great outdoors… As I pondered that thought this week, I couldn’t help but contemplate how overwhelmed I am by the beauty of the prairie.
You see, I’m a mountain girl. I was raised in the mountains of north Jordan – okay, so relatively speaking, they are rolling hills. But, oh how beautiful they are! There is contrast and texture. There is no monotony in those hills.
Then there are the hills in Georgia where I lived for a couple of years. Oh my! Such beauty!
But for the past eleven years I have lived in the plains, and I have struggled greatly to see the beauty of such terrain. First we moved to Northwest Mississippi, where the terrain is flat with few trees and little break in the monotony. Cities. Fields. Cities. Fields. A few small towns here and there. Flatness. Ugh.
Then we moved to Arkansas. The greatest blessing was moving to an area where forestry is prominent, because I at least had trees.
Finally, nearly three years ago we moved to a town parked smack dab in the middle of farmland. Natural prairie cultivated to grow crops. Flat. Monotonous—or so I thought. I was convinced that I might love the church and love the people. But when people talked about the beauty of the prairie, they were speaking a foreign language. I never imagined I would find beauty in the flat monotony. I missed my mountains.
Harvest was in full swing when we moved, and I was captivated by the golden fields. I began to glimpse just a small smidgen of prairie beauty that fall, but I just knew it would disappear when the fields were harvested and bare and winter set in.
I was wrong.
Over the winter, fields were flooded and the ducks and geese arrived. Life was everywhere, even in the growing cold. Nothing was monotonous, and I was mesmerized.
Field prep followed as winter meandered toward spring. Freshly turned earth stretched in glorious deep brown across one field, while the next field began to sprout early spring grass or wildflowers.
As the planting rotation began, one field would be sprouting small green plants while the next was being turned and the next still grew wild and untamed. The landscape changed almost daily as crop after crop was planted. By the time rice went into the ground, the corn was heartily reaching for the sky. By the time the rice turned fields into a lush green carpet, the corn was tall and the beans were beginning to show pop up in their neat rows.
All summer long, the terrain changed constantly. Daily. It was mesmerizing. Captivating. Powerful.
Then came harvest again. The corn began to dry out and turn golden as the rice formed heads and the beans continued to mature. Each crop in turn dried out in preparation for harvest, and then the fields were cut. Pure beauty.
Three years in, and I’m more fully and completely enthralled by the beauty of the prairie than ever before. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my mountains. But, oh the beauty right here!
What if I were to view all of life that way? God shines beauty into every circumstance of life. It might not be what I prefer. It might not be happy and delightful. But there is still beauty. Oh such tremendous beauty!
He has opened my eyes to the power of His creation right here in the prairie. Were He to tell me that I could move back to my beloved mountains tomorrow, I would struggle because I know now what I would be leaving. I desire to choose to view the circumstances of this life that way as well. He is in them, therefore there is beauty in them. Will I see it?