I walk early in the mornings. Have to. It's 90 degrees by 10:00am. In order to get in five miles before the Georgia landscape sizzles like shrimp on a spit, I have to hit it by 7:00am. I have several lovely choices for venue, all resplendent with the lush scenery of God's artistry (the deep South version). There are two tracks within two miles. Both are surrounded three sides by tall, old, strong pine trees and 100 year old oaks, dogwoods tucked among them. There's privet within sniffing distance and jasmine crawling up a fencepost. One of them is 1/2 mile track that surrounds my kids' lush green soccer fields, and at 7:00am the sprinklers are giving the grass a drink. Without fail, one errant sprinkler turns around and decides to arc over the track and water the sweaty, overheated walkers/joggers instead. It's a treat.
(My house is a couple of miles behind the tallest trees - the ones behind the concession building.)
The other track is the high school track. I find something oddly comforting about school buildings, and this track's fourth side scenery is the High School. The science department has built a bird commune on the back side of the track at the woods edge. There are at least eight or ten bird houses and as many feeders, and I get serenaded for the duration of my walk when I choose that track. The track itself is the cushy stuff that feels like chipped up tires with Elmers glue caulk, and it's banked - since it is a cross country competitive team track. In order to keep my hips from feeling cattywampus after a few laps, I change direction. Fairly surprising to me that the scenery changes so much in the same spot just because you change directions. Check out the background:(My house is less than a mile behind that tallest stand of trees.) You can see a tad of the pink track behind the team. I don't have a good picture of this track. I need to snap a good one next time I go. You just gotta see.
The third place is the Silver Comet Trail. Can't describe the scenery because there's just. so. much. Just look.
See what I mean????? So here's the point. At 7:00am when you are blessed enough to be standing at any of these spots pictured and healthy enough to be able to walk for miles, WHAT could be better, I'm askin' you????
It's the perfect opportunity to listen, since fortunately my feet make tracks without me having to think about it much. It may be a trick God uses to keep me from realizing how far I've walked, it may be the environment that's impossible to navigate without understanding the depth of God's presence and pervue, it may be that it's a combination of both those things or others I'm not aware of, but whatever it is, I get a personal lesson from the Creator of me and the environment I'm in. Every. Time. I. Walk.
Today I was aware that since God is my Father, that makes me a Princess. (I didn't come up with that. My very wise friend Bee shared that one with me.) Then I became aware that as selfish, thoughtless, thick, impatient and judgmental as I am I surely must test His patience on a regular basis. That made me chuckle. Until I realized that's the relationship I'm supposed to have with my children. He's the model for parenting. I fail miserably. Regularly. So while I was alone, taking in this lush picture, breathing fresh cool morning air, I could easily see how perfect my children actually are and how I am to parent them based on my Father's example - that I will guide them instead of snapping at them, that I will be understanding of their actions and lovingly take their hand and help them along their way like my Father does for me. It's a valuable lesson for me to learn in the summer, when the three of us are together 24/7 for days at a time.