For the Beauty of the Earth

Saint Maia

We finally replaced the plants in our front yard that died during our frigid winter. This event followed finally getting a lawnmower. Try as we might, we just couldn’t quite kill the grass that seems to have a life of its own. Since we don’t yet have a master plan for our yard, we settled on digging up a little at a time and replacing it with low-maintenance native plants.

My extremely high tech husband finally chose a very low tech lawnmower. My guess is that he now can say he has an exercise program. He’s definitely is into cross-training: maintaining the compost pile, digging holes for me, dragging hoses (people in rural Texas do not believe in sprinkler systems), and keeping the bird feeders stocked. He also attends to those species of nature that I cannot abide: large arachnids and slithering reptiles.

Weather permitting (which means less than 90-degrees), we sit out in our back forty on a few rocks and have our lunch. We take an afternoon coffee break and enjoy the beautiful view from our patio. One bluejay usually is tormenting one of the two orphaned kitties we’ve adopted (actually, I think they adopted us). The female kitty has such attitude she torments the bird. I’m sure she’ll get him one of these days. Our conversation is usually around some business strategy, but we’re always brought back to reality by the vociferous cows brought in for sale at the livestock barn less than half-mile from our home.

What a change from our life in California! We don’t live near any freeways, or much else for that matter. Children play outside and ride their bikes or skateboard to their friends houses. There are butterflies and fireflies! The deer come into our backyard! There are wild bunnies and armadillos and owls! The stars are brilliant and the constellations are easily visible because there aren’t any streetlights or neighboring city lights.

As I was watering our newly planted foliage, the hymn For the Beauty of the Earth came to mind. There is beauty all around us. Sometimes we must slow down enough to be aware or lift our eyes to see, but it’s there. I believe that in the eternal scheme God gives us beauty to remind us that all of life is precious and sacred.

Thursday’s bonus: John Rutter is a prolific sacred composer who repurposes old hymns with new arrangements. Here is his version of For the Beauty of the Earth.

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