The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; Psalm 24: 1
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6: 26
In recent weeks I have found myself spending a lot of time watching the birds in the garden. I have even bought three bird feeders to aid me in this new pastime. It has been a delight to watch the robins and tits, woodpeckers and blackbirds, even the occasional jay or wren. Birdsong too appears to be louder and more evident in our quieter environment. Observing and listening to the birds has made me more aware of the natural world, whether at home in the garden or out for my daily walk.
This fresh appreciation has encouraged me to lift my voice in praise to God, that despite current circumstances we can take joy in His Creation and wonder at its beauty and diversity. I may not always enjoy the squawking parakeets, nor the pigeons or crows but each is beautiful in its own way. Perhaps this is even an allegory for life?
I am also enjoying the opportunity to really look at the trees, at the light shining through the canopies, at the differing patterns of branches and leaves, and the magnificent shapes of the tree trunks. My Lent notes suggested identifying a single tree to visit regularly, to spend time with, and note any changes. I have been recording these with photographs. So far, I have witnessed ‘my’ horse chestnut become greener and fuller and its buds develop into full blossom. Perhaps you could find a tree to watch, appreciate and give thanks for.
Anne Frank wrote: ‘the best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy, is to go outside…. with the heavens, nature and God’.
Wherever we are let us identify the small joys of nature, the flower growing through the cracks, the daisies pushing their way through the grass, the blackbird singing, the crow cawing, and praise God!
Thank you Father God for your creation and for all the lessons that we can learn through observing the world around us. Help us to slow down, to use of all our senses to enjoy your gifts and lift our hearts in praise to you. Thank you.
For those in our church family who are ‘shielded’ – that they may find ways of enjoying the natural world despite the restrictions on them.