There is something truly captivating about the outdoors.
I experienced it 10 years ago when I lived in the city, during a major snowstorm. The world stopped, but snow continued to spill from the dark sky. The crunch of foot-deep snow beneath my boots in the strange eerie quiet city is something I locked away, to remember, replay, re-feel countless times since.
I experienced it as a kid, trekking through the "forest" of our backyard woods with my Dad on a Sunday afternoon. Coming upon a big 'ole tree as he would stop and ask "I wonder what stories that tree would tell if it could talk." Ever since then, when I come upon a large tree, I whisper- "what stories do you have to tell?"
I experience it when I lay on the ground and stare up at puffy, shifting clouds. Making shapes in my mind with what is in the sky. Deep breaths of crisp air, the sound of birds calling to each other and ants dancing across my toes.
I experienced it just this week when I begged my kids to go on an adventure with me into the woods- my favorite place to let my soul rest, refuel and my imagination to spark! We listened to the babbling creek, imagined a mystical land on the other side of the bank- one that we could not reach, only let our imagination run wild with ideas. We found giant pods belonging to some tree- boats for small "leaf men" to ride the wild rivers in search of rescuing other small creatures. Fields of green with the speckling of lavender and all shades of pink. Yellow daffodils popping up among thick green leaves. Breathing in the smell of the rich, red dirt our heels dug up.
I never want to stop exploring.
Never grow tired of the wild outdoors.
Never stop being captivated by the wonder of it all.
It is where I feel closest to my Creator.
He made this, just like He made me.
His love for me bursts in the fields of green, purple and pink.
He's strength empowers me like the flowing river.
He is steady, unwavering and filled with mystery like the ancient trees.
He is breathing new life, bringing about seasons of rest, pruning away dead things, untangling me of the mess of choking vines. Those small sins I continue to let slip in, building stone walls around my heart, wanting to burrow into a cave of guilt and shame.
He makes all things new.
He brings beauty from the ashes, builds from the broken pieces.
I want to run wild and free.
So, if you see me in a field, just laying there with my eyes closed, or beside a river, captivated- don't stop me. Don't draw my attention away. It is where I find my most intimate moments with my Maker.