I love the desert's sunshine on sage grasses, violet shadows, and its heat. We just spent three days in Winthrop, ensconced in a luxury resort, thanks to a raffle ticket from the university where W works. Though it was cool at night, day temperatures were pleasant, obviously September rather than July.
Beauty ambushes those who pause to look. We gazed over valleys from behind deer-proof flower and herb borders planted on the edge of the mountain. Far below, cars ran their courses like toys, while above the hawks swooped over the fields where deer grazed. "So much blue!" exclaimed my husband, enjoying the vista under its big sky umbrella.
The town nearby (Winthrop) is slow-paced and artsy. We strolled the streets, watched a glassblower make a pumpkin, complete with twisted stem, and dropped in on "Sage Hens," a small gallery run by two women who have raised kids and are playing and working at art. Wonderful stuff, all of it. W bought me a painting I couldn't forget, 2 chickadees swept onto branches by the artist's brush. The shop was closed when we stopped by on our way out of town, so we called... sure enough, one of the "hens" was on her way in. Lovely!
We may go back some time, perhaps for a special anniversary. That God gave us this gift seems extraordinary, and we were determined to enjoy it fully. We are not "luxury" spenders, either for vacations or for work. The pleasures of driving back through the forest that hems the asphalt, the crisp mountain air of the North Cascades Pass, the sheer abundance and variety of plants, rock, and water along the way...
ah, we came back refreshed and grateful for the beauty God lavishes on us. We are thankful for eyes that see, noses that smell, tongues that taste, ears that hear, and fingers that touch. Our small Sabbath renewed us as no mere sleep could. We came away from our routines to listen and admire God in his splendor, playing among his creatures in nature. How Good he is to share his love for beauty with us!
Read more... *For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9 a NIV
*Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Psalm 36:5-9 NIV