Recently my wife Lindsay and I moved from Colorado to Indiana. On the one hand this was an easy move. We are now closer to our fantastic family and are able to work with friends we love. On the other hand we left a place and culture that we had come to call home. We love the people here but we miss the beauty there. At times a “home sickness” bubbles up in my heart and I echo the words of Bilbo Baggins, “I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains!” (yes I actually said that and yes I am a nerd).
In Colorado, natural beauty smacks you in the face every morning. Each day I would look west, greet snow covered Mt Evans with a smile and know that it was going to be especially blessed. Sun, fresh air and and epic views were my constant companions. Colorado is beautiful. I mean no offense to my fellow Hoosiers but no one describes Indiana this way. At least not on the 364 days you can’t see the sun. Beauty here is a bit is harder to find.
This Christmas Linds and I were driving to see family and I was feeling a need to see something other than gray. It had been raining nonstop for several days and where the ground was not churned up from the fall harvest it was clogged with trees clinging to a faint memory of spring. What would usually have been a scenic drive was a cold, black ice ridden slog to the finish.
Then something happened. I looked to my right and saw a beautiful frozen lake framed by my car window in Ansel Adams gray. It was as though Narnia itself had come to life and posed for me. I was transfixed by this site until I realized that 1) I was driving a car and 2) I was looking at a giant puddle. A farmer’s field had flooded, frozen and then begun to melt just enough to make the illusion stick. Yet for that brief moment, the midday darkness turned that tortured and frozen wasteland into a black and white masterpiece. I will never forget its beauty.
There are times in life where beauty is obvious. We have a spring in our step and feel especially blessed. There are also times when beauty is distant and much harder to find. Both these seasons are natural and in a sense good. We need times of refreshing and rest, learning and play. We need times of winter and cold, austerity and silence. Each time has its place under heaven. Framed properly, both can be used of God to shape and mold us into beautiful people.
If you are in a season of joy and beauty, may you live it to the fullest and enjoy all it can give you. Laugh, love, learn. Soak it up while it lasts. If you find yourself in the darkness, may you find the strength to embrace it. Sit, grieve, accept. Remind yourself that it will not be forever. Until the sun shines again may you find beauty in the puddles.
God Bless and have a great weekend!