Thursday, May 17, 2007

Freeway Feeders and Nature Notations

Once upon a time, when I knew next to nothing about nature study, I really thought science was learned in textbooks (like I learned it) and studying nature meant getting out to a forest or park. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Over the years, as I have read, I have learned that nature study is watering the plants, observing ladybugs on the maple tree, digging for worms and doodle bugs, and whatever can be discovered in one small square of the yard.

Yesterday I had a little nature study lesson of my own. I was on my way to pick up Jacob, Nicole and Andrew from their grandparents house. There was a bit of traffic on the feeder road where I was waiting to turn. Michael was asleep in the back and the music was off (miracle for me). I happened to glance out the window to my left. And, oh, the wonders that caught my eye. To my left, very close by, was a lovely ditch - retention pond, if you want to be a little more genteel. Yes, just a ditch. But, mind you, this is the very same dutch where the kids and I have observed egrets before. So there's got to be something good going on. Much to my surprise, this lowly ditch and its surroundings were teeming with God's life. Floating in the water, were green plants and "blobs" of algae. There were little flowers blooming amongst them. With a closer observation you could see bunches of small fish darting about. Surrounding the water were at least four different types of "weeds" - some flowering. Close to the road were little brown-eyed Susans, little white flowers and delicate pink buttercups. A little farther out were some delicate little purple flowers and even further out some striking red wildflowers. I would guess they were Indian paints, but they were too far away for me to know for sure. As I observed one thing after another, I was struck by the fact that even here in this small area of our world, this ditch, that world normally be labelled as "unsightly," was the beauty of God's creation.

Just as in the lowliest of His people, the smallest of the small, the poorest of the poor, there is just as much image of the Creator, as in the richest and smartest. God is everywhere. In all things. God is. And all it took was the common everyday freeway feeder ditch for this little revelation.

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