Finding Beauty When The World Is Upside Down

From my journal May 22, 2020.
it is now August 22, 2020 as I write this post. Often over the last three months as confusion reigns in our world, I return to these scenes and remember God is present with me.  He is present with you
A two week stay-at-home order has turned into ten weeks and I  need to search for beauty in the craziness of this pandemic along with all that is happening in and around me. I head to the Forest Preserve. Surely I will find beauty there. I’ll look for the river. Water soothes me.

The sweet fragrance of newly-mown grass greets me as I step out of the car. Hoping to find a path to the river, I wander toward the pavilion. Normally inviting, it is now off-limits, cordoned off with yellow “keep-out-of-here” tape. The picnic tables are turned upside down. Drawing closer I spy the beginning of a path leading into the forest. Bathed in the subdued light of the early evening sun, it pulls me in. The sweet fragrance of the fresh-cut grass gives way to the sweet, musty dampness of the forest floor. Soon I am captivated by beauty . . .

delicate spring flowers
some still in bud
their fragrance filling the air.
leaves in the midst of their
slow, deliberate unfurling,
new growth poking up from
debris left over on the forest floor
from last year’s growth
all this because their Maker says
“It is time”

an occasional dandelion clinging
to her dandelion lace,
no children here to hurry the process,
they wait for a puff of wind
an occasional yellow bloom waits

A tree forming a canopy of green above
in spite of visible scars on her trunk below
Lord like the trees, may I be resilient
in your strength

paths rough, uneven,
expose tree roots
I must watch my step.
crashing trees, altering paths
creating the need for new paths
some of them adding serendipity
to the path making me smile
Lord let me find new paths
when the paths I am on
are blocked

I find the river, barely visible through the underbrush, enough blue reflected from the blue sky above to show me she is still here. Satisfied, I retrace my steps, gradually making my way back into my world – the one that’s crazy upside-down (or maybe it is down-side up).

I have no clear idea of how long this will continue. What I do know is, this;  I am not alone.


God, my soul is restored as I walk in the in the newness of spring and quiet , the noise and traffic of the outside muted. I hear you saying “Look! Look what I made for you to enjoy. I like walking here with you.” I come home with a sense of your presence found once again in your creation. Often, over the ensuing three months I return to these scenes in my mine, remembering I am not alone.

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