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Story ID:5164
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Everywhere Everywhere Everywhere
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A Master's Artwork
by Kathe Campbell

Someone once said . . . "If the sight of blue skies fill you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up from the field has power to move you, if the simple things in our universe have a message you understand -- rejoice, for your soul is alive." Regrettably, Mother Nature is troubled when human nature is the only nature some of us appreciate.

My soul is undeniably alive, for as long as I can recall all of nature's creations have been a source of solace, inspiration, and adventure - and now a home and companion in the wonderment of it all. As a permanent intruder, I do it well, and embrace life because God lives in both of us. Any fool can plainly see that the Holy Spirit and Mother Earth love me, for doesn't she wrap herself stylishly in nature's clothing, season after season? We're teammates.

I believe the Lord wrote the gospel on every living thing found in our universe. The whole existence is so joyful - everything so happy. Trees are happy for no reason. Why is that? They are not going to become great evangelists, prime ministers or presidents. Look at flowers - happy for no apparent reason. Why is it? It's because the Goddess of Nature has made no mistakes, and though I sometimes grimace, nothing is grotesque in her creations - it's simply a master's artwork.

Some keep the Sabbath by attending church. I keep mine by attending my 7,000 foot mountain deck, even on blustery, snowy days. A few kitties and my dog are fellow parishioners; my braying donkeys, song birds and chattering squirrels serve as my choir; the branches of my great firs my dome. I stand beneath it all and praise God's teachings, then hold communion with nature's children - being soothed and healed as they put my soul in order. How could indoors be more masterfully created than His temple of perfection?

While sprawling beside a mountain stream beneath the trees on a lush carpet of pine needles, a great door opens. It's Mother Nature, my teacher. She unfolds her treasures, unseals my eyes, illumes my mind, and purifies my heart in mere seconds. Heavenly elegance springs from my senses, and drinking her in is an unquenchable thirst, for she shows me that no amoeba is less than a trillion stars.

I watch the miracle of leaves unfurling from within dark folds, insects forming cocoons upon brilliant blooms, and syrup running sweet and viscid from bark. Amazingly, certain of God's creations rest all winter, asleep in seeming death, but at just the right moment He awakens them. Even great sea mammals migrate thousands of miles from arctic oceans to calve in the lagoons of southern hemispheres. He looks upon all equally, none less or more dear - on land, aloft, in the seas.

Occasionally my dog and I shudder at thunder bumpers and light shows that inflict whizzbanging cracks and streaks across my Montana skies. How clever that the Great Mother chose lightning to split asunder that which needs to kindle, sending weary lands fresh nutrients to grow new and vigorous vegetation. Then, while awaiting spring, she dresses her verdant bounties with moist and tender snow flowers that soothe in winter's chill.

A babbling chorus of runoff cascades down my mountain that sometimes vanishes, quenching burning sands from hidden wells. Roots stretch to drink, and deserts bloom in bright arrays of blossoms, fruits, and a maze of thorny apparitions. Other streams leave rambling designs as they flow onto long, sandy beaches where animals and plants exposed to the elements cope with crushing waves at high tide. As seas ebb, there remains multitudes of colorful shore life, and tiny, skittering crustaceans in tidal pools where my grandchildren play, and squeal, and learn.

I didn't inherit this land from my ancestors - I borrow it from my children while predatory humans inflict lesions upon the landscape by beating her to death. Since we are endowed with reason and power to create, why do so many uncaring generations of clods insist upon rendering the scenery ugly? Reckless stewardship has caused forests to disappear, rivers to dry up, wildlife to become extinct, and climates change, leaving so much to suffer. Surely we are our own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman when we violate the Goddess of Nature.

Will urban sprawl spread so far that I lose all touch with the outdoors? Will the day come when the only bird my great grandchildren see is a canary in a pet shop window? When the only wild animal they know is a rat glimpsed on a night drive through a city slum? When the only tree they touch is that cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades their gifts on Christmas morn?

Despite my ineffable love of all that surrounds me, I dislike environmental jargon. I would feel more optimistic about her future if we spent less time trying to outwit Mother Nature, and more time teaching others to taste her sweetness, and respect her seniority. It has long been a fundamental lesson in our family. I have often borrowed a lovely phrase from the Native Americans . . . "In springtime tread lightly upon Mother Earth, for she is pregnant." Earth Warrior suits me best, for Mother Earth still bends over backwards brightening my surroundings in the spoils of an oft dirty and scarred world.

Though I too encroach, I obey the order of things and let nature take care of nature's business, for the human spirit needs places where vistas haven't been rearranged by the hand of man. So I climb a mountain and feel its good tidings, for upon the crest peace flows into me like sunshine flowing into every living thing. Blessed sunshine, the epitome of benevolence--life-giving and warmth-giving and happiness-giving, and to it I owe my thanksgiving. How miraculous that the sun, with all those planets revolving around it, can peek through man's brume to sprout a humble blossom as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.

What could be more perfect than a foolproof recipe of sun and rain when all that's natural looks skyward to drink of God's perfect refreshment? Droplets are loosed from the clouds in soft mizzles upon my beloved perch, or a deluge to bathe and soothe. Foliage is washed of dust - tree trunks run wet and dark - then crisp, unsullied air leaves a delicious balm so heaven-scent. Mist hangs low over my ponds where tiny echoes rise from the newly hatched navigating blindly through haze. Gully washers and muddy rivulets flow until the hills and valleys divide them in all directions forming great rivers, channeling the world awash.

And in the brief moments of twilight I say . . . "Thank you God for my amazing day, for the spirit of everything that lives, all that warms and cools, bathes and gives life, the stillness of night - everything natural and infinite. Now that I'm weathered and not so full of sap, bless you and and the Great Mother for salving my dry spells, and energizing my soul as nothing else can."

So come with me to find it exhilarating to be refreshed by a morning walk, for nothing is lovelier than forest and field at sunrise. Let the earth delight our bare feet, and the winds play with our hair, whistling like tiny storms blowing away our cares. Come see a leaping amphibian, hear a canine's haunting wail, and witness a great deer grunting birth deep in Mother Nature's greenery. Thrill to her colors, sweet and wild scents, a waterfall, raptors in majestic flight, or song birds striking up signature chords. And at the end of our day, watch the silent tumble of snowflakes, or the moon and a blanket of stars preparing our rest.

Rescuing a starving soul with all that manages to remain perfect is so simple.

- 2009