I’m sitting in the mountains. Well, the front country, really. It’s been foggy all morning but I can feel the sun breaking through. It is warm on my shoulders. I took a new trail this morning and made breakfast just behind a graffiti’d water tower. I discovered a cozy little spot just off the trail and shared a nice meal with the trees and the birds around me. I am soaking in the quiet and peace I’ve discovered here.
After a week of more anxiety, a week of hearing about tragic deaths in Santa Barbara high schools, a week of nightmares, a week of hard things with loved ones, a week of pressing in at work, it is good to reconnect with my soul. It is good to have silence, stillness, simplicity.
After the rain we’ve had, Santa Barbara hiking is a whole new adventure – more flowers, grass, green, birds, bugs. The front country is absolutely teeming, and I love it. I am grateful to be present with this teeming creation around me.
I am reminded that this is what the God I know loves too: He loves the teeming of creation, he loves the sputtering of the birds, their cheerful chirping, the blooming of ever more wildflowers on the side of the mountains, between rocks and along the edges of refilled streams.
I am reminded that he loves taking care of it all, too, and that he delights in our enjoyment of the beauty he’s made.
I am reminded that this is how he takes care of me: by sharing the gift of this teeming beauty with me.
And when the anxiety comes back, when the stress returns, when the bad news is heard over the phone, when the weight of all of the burdens I try to carry crushes me, I remember the teeming beauty, breaking out from beneath the fog, blooming after the heavy rain, and even longer drought.
My soul is filled and I know that I am taken care of. He is with me through it all, creating beautiful things I cannot yet see.