The Beauty of It—Guest Post by Susan Burleson
I am delighted to have my sister Susan guesting today on my blog. Susan is a contemplative, caring person. As she posts sunrise and sunset photos day after day, I love the beauty and her thoughts. So I asked her to let us walk through the beauty with her.
All my life I’ve been aware of the beauty surrounding us. As a child, our mother had abundant flowers. The honeysuckle smelled and tasted wonderful. The way the sunset would pour onto the stair landing.
We had property in East Texas we would visit on weekends. I believe that’s where I started being grateful for our beautiful world. Watching rainwater make its own course, gardening, catching fish, appreciating dogwood trees. Feeling blessed, I would often express my thanks to be able to see so much beauty.
Our father had a large garden. After he became ill, I moved next door to help care for him. Tending his garden for him, I would sing “Amazing Grace” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” while I worked.
One morning I could hear the beehive in the old tree next to the garden. Gradually, the buzzing got louder and louder. I looked up and saw a small tornado of bees swarming out of the tree. At first frightened, I thought, “The bees are between me and the lake. No escape.” They were coming toward me so I put my hands by my side, closed my eyes and gave my life into God’s hands.
The swarm approached me and engulfed me. I could smell their musky scent, feel their wings on my face. Then they passed me by. I felt so blessed to have experienced this rare, wonderful event. I’ve often thanked God for the memory of it.
As life carried on, I felt less able to be thankful or to pray. I still appreciated the beauty that surrounds us, but life and work and kids distracted me. I found myself doubting I was being heard at all. “Is anybody out there?” became a constant question. I took a few paths that didn’t give me peace of mind or help me find the love from God that I was missing. Of course, the problem was me, not Him.
Now I am on Medicare and we are RVing full time. For the second year we are camp hosting at Navajo State Park in Colorado. It’s very lovely, of course. They don’t do a lot of landscaping work, wanting it to look and be in its natural state.
I walk our dog morning and evening (and a few other times), 6 am and 8 pm. These are great times for photos and wild animals. I’ve been praying more here: when I wake, as I walk Bonney, as I kiss my husband good morning/good night. Always asking to know and do God’s will, wanting people to feel the love from God that I had missed so much.
As I sit at the window watching the Colorado afternoon clouds build up over the distant mountains, I wonder at the randomness of our world. This time last year this place was in a heavy drought and the lake was down 45 feet. This year it rains almost every day and the lake is going up a foot a day from snowmelt.
I’ve been blessed all my life to witness the beauty of our world. Sunrise, sunset, stars, wind whispering through the pines, golden fields of grain, snow on the tops of mountains. I love the spectacle of this place. I am always awed by it.
With all of that said, I look forward to going home. I’ve felt like a tourist on earth. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to appreciate what has been created here. And here pales to the beauty of our home, Heaven. I feel like I can almost comprehend the stunning vividness there, with Jesus waiting with open arms to greet me and welcome me home.
I would end with this from Lamentations 3:24-26;
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope on him. The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
What about you? What do you gain from the beauty around you?
Susan Downs Burleson grew up in Dallas and Athens, Texas. Married, two daughters, work, retired. She and her husband, Kenny, are currently full-time RVers, camp hosting in Colorado.