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Beauty is all around us

I have a book illustrated by Thomas Kinkade with poems, scriptures, and other writings. The pictures are beautiful. One picture is like the very last Christmas gift that I received from my husband – a picture of a barn. The poems and other writings are often familiar. Some of these poems I memorized when I went to school.

Believe me if you memorize a poem or a Bible verse, you will remember it — even if has been a long time since you recited it.

I found a verse that I remembered but I did not know who wrote it. When I found it in this book, I recalled the books written by James Herriot. If you have never read James Herriot, the books provide an interesting read of the life of a veterinarian who lived in England. He certainly has some wonderful adventures. I have read all four of his books. They begin with “All Creatures Great and Small.” Next comes “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” then “All Things Wise and Wonderful,” and end with “The Lord God Made Them All.”

I think I bought a set for my son when he was ready to become a veterinarian. I later bought this set for myself to enjoy.

The verse was titled “All Things Bright and Beautiful” written by Cecil Frances Alexander. I chose this to write about this week because of the beauty that the poem conveys. We have been through such rough times lately that I thought maybe we should pause to enjoy nature.

The poem goes like this:

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,

Each little bird that sings,

He made their glowing colors

He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,

The river running by,

The sunset and the morning

That brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter,

The pleasant summer sun,

The ripe fruits in the garden,

He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,

And lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty,

Who has made all things well.

Stop and think about the beauty that surrounds us. It is there for us to see. It is there for us to share. I often think about those who are going around looting and destroying things.

How do they perceive the world? Do they even notice the things in nature? Are they mindful of what nature has to offer? Do they remember their roots?

As summer slips toward autumn, the colors of fall arrive. They say that this year because it has been so dry, the leaves may fall before they color.

We will just have to wait and see. I love autumn. In fact, I love the change of seasons. I do not know what I would do if I could not see the change of seasons. Each season has its own beauty. In the spring we watch for the first hint of green on the trees. We watch for the spring flowers. We listen for the Peepers. The bird songs are beautiful. Then there is summer with its lush green and all of the plants in their glory.

Winter may at first seem stark and barren with all of the trees devoid of leaves. Then, we get that first snow. The snow comes in all forms. The best days are those with the snow that looks like a diamond coating. It rests on the branches of the trees and brings them beauty as well. I have tried for years to get a four-season picture of the giant oak in the Hale Cemetery. I have three of them, but I cannot seem to get the winter one.

This is a poem to learn, to memorize. It is one to recite over and over to remember the beauty that is all around us. This year we have once again fed the birds. We have had all types of birds come to the feeder. We have faithfully taken in the feeders after a bear ruined the oriole feeder that Don brought up here. We have had bluebirds, orioles, cardinals, sparrows, finches, and cedar wax wings. They have all paused to eat here. Of course, we also had hummingbirds. They have visited the feeders all summer long. When I read about the wings of the birds in that poem I think of the hummers. They really move those wings. Often when I was putting out the feeders the hummers would buzz around my head not even waiting until the feeder was up.

We have had beautiful flowers this season. The wild flowers have outdone themselves showing color everywhere. The flowers that were planted have done well. I think the flowers do better with less moisture.

I know my indoor plants do better with less water. People think they have to keep everything well-watered, but in actuality less water is better for them.

I especially like the part that says “he gave us eyes to see them.” Nature is subtle. You have to be alert to see all that nature provides. Nature provides a peace like none other. When you are in tune with nature you have peace.

For those of you who are worried about getting sick, memorize this poem so that you can repeat it whenever you are bothered. It will settle your mind and bring you a sense of peace.

This tidbit came across my desk and I have made it my own: Love Your Life

Take pictures of everything. Tell people you love them. Talk to random strangers.

Do things that you are scared to do. So many of us die and no one remembers a thing we did. Take your life and make it the best story in the world.

Don’t waste it. (Power of Positivity).

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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