Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Musings on a wintry walk
I just got back from my morning walk. It was a chilly one -- not sure of the temps now, but it was 5º when I got up this morning -- but I was well bundled up and didn't mind the cold too much. It actually felt sort of invigorating. I really want to jot down my thoughts because I saw some beautiful things on this walk and didn't have a camera with me -- not that any photo I took could have done them justice. My thoughts are likely to ramble a bit, so bear with me...
As I started down the little street where I like to walk, one of the first things I noticed was the music of chickadees. Am I the only one who thinks their winter song has a chiming quality, almost like small faraway jingle bells?
It had been quite some time since I went out for a walk, prior to this week. I think it was Saturday when my hubby and I walked down the little street and noticed how nicely our neighbors had decorated for Christmas. At one house, a small lighted tree was displayed on a treehouse platform, and lighted twig deer browsed in the garden. At another house, the lamp posts were twined with lights and had Santa hats perched rakishly on top. Another house had a gorgeous wreath on the front door, featuring a large bow in an unusual but lovely shade of green. On the garage a large twig star was festooned with ribbon in the same green. So pretty! And the last house -- which is a perfect-looking little cottage, straight out of Better Homes & Gardens -- there were tasteful matching wreaths on the front door and the open gate, two Christmas trees on the porch and a small lighted tree at a side entry. At the time, I commented to my hubby that we ought to find time to walk down that street after dark so we could see everything lit up. Alas, we didn't find the time.
This morning, as I came to the last house, I noticed they had already removed the wreaths from the gate, and that got me thinking about how once the glitter and sparkle of Christmas gets put away, we often tend to feel that our surroundings are sort of dull and flat.
Having said that, this doesn't usually happen at our house. We tend to keep the Christmas decorations up until mid-January, and then we switch over to winter decorations. I have snowflakes and icicles already in place on my evergreen garland over the picture window, and they will stay after the stockings come down. (Though come to think of it, what could be more appropriate than a nice warm boot sock trimmed with snowflake buttons?) and small glittery houses on the hutch. Those will be joined soon by snowmen of all sorts once the Christmas items are put away. My point is that there is still plenty of glitter and sparkle going on in winter -- especially up here in cold northern New England!
As if to confirm my thoughts, God showed me something beautiful as I neared the end of my walk. There's a vacant lot and it's usually not much to look at. But today was far different. I noticed first a few small twiggy bushes. Every twig was coated with frost, and it was sparkling in the sun as if encrusted with diamonds! I looked further, at the dull, dry winter grasses poking through the snow. Every stem of grass was also frost coated and had the same glistening beauty! How thankful I was that I had chosen that particular time to go for a walk! And even as I thought about that, I was reminded that God was the One who had inclined me to go for a walk right then. The sun is sort of sporadic today, and I could easily have been walking at a moment when it wasn't shining brightly. But God saw to it that I went out at just the right time to be reminded of His power and creativity in nature... which, interestingly enough, was something I'd been mulling over in my devotions this morning.
As I reluctantly moved on, God brought another thought to mind. I'd been somewhat disappointed when I saw that our neighbors had begun taking down their lovely displays before we had a chance to view them after dark. But God reminded me that true beauty comes from Him and not from anything manmade. It was a good reminder never to turn to the things of the world but to know that God is the only source of what is truly worth having. I am truly thankful that He showed me some of His beauty today in a very special way.
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.