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HIS MASTERPIECE

Story ID:7971
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Location:None Montana USA
Year:2000
Person:none
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HIS MASTERPIECE

HIS MASTERPIECE

HIS MASTERPIECE

HIS MASTERPIECE

HIS MASTERPIECE

HIS MASTERPIECE
In Honor of Earth Day
by Kathe Campbell

My soul is undeniably alive, for as long as I can recall, God's creations have been a source of solace, inspiration and adventure, and now my home and companion in the wonder of it all. Uprooting an indulged city life and succumbing to mountain dwelling hasn't hurt a bit. I believe God wrote the gospel on every living thing, and appointed Mother Nature guardian of His masterpiece.


I ventured beneath a cloak of fir and aspen until the dead standing logs and innards for my buildings were deposited safely. Watching the lodge rise, I rested beside a stream beneath the trees on a lush carpet of pine needles. Then one day a great door opened, and in mere seconds my eyes were unsealed, my mind illumed, and my heart purified as I welcomed the Earth Mother into my life.

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. Braying donkeys, nickering mustangs, song birds and chattering squirrels serve as my choir, and the branches of great firs are my dome. I stand beneath it all to hold communion with nature's children, being soothed and healed as my soul is put in order. How could indoors be more masterfully created than Our Lord's temple of perfection?

My Keeshond adores his new digs, but dogs my every step when earsplitting thunder bumpers and light shows strike whizbanging cracks and streaks across our Montana skies. How clever that God chose lightning to split asunder that which needs to kindle, sending weary lands fresh nutrients to grow new and vigorous vegetation. Veiled in smoke, the mountain above me is aflame, and as I watch brave firefighters, I weep. How good to see a suffocating summer go and winter arrive. I wonder what spring will bring as nature's wounds are dressed with moist and tender snow flowers?

Springtide, and I hike scorched game trails to watch the miracle of leaves unfurling from within dark folds. Amid white ash, syrup runs sweet and viscid from charred bark. Despite the inferno, nature's teacher shows me how some creations rest all winter, asleep in seeming death, but at just the right moment are wakened. Everything is looked upon equally, none less or more dear.

I watch a babbling chorus of snowy runoffs cascading down the mountain replenishing ponds of tadpoles and fingerlings that my squealing great grandchildren touch and probe. The whole existence is so joyful - animals, insects, trees and wildflowers seem happy for no reason. Why is that? They're not going to become great evangelists or heads of state. Maybe it's because God made no mistakes, and though I sometimes grimace, nothing is grotesque in His world, except humans who inflict unrelenting lesions upon the landscape.

As a proud hinterlander, I didn't inherit this land from ancestors, I borrow it from my children. Endowed with reason and power to create, I wonder why so many uncaring generations of clods insist upon rendering scenic grandeurs ugly? 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. So I often borrow a lovely phrase from the Native Americans... "In springtime tread lightly upon Mother Earth - she is pregnant."

Though I encroach, I obey the order of things, and I do it well. My spirit needs places where vistas haven't been rearranged by the hand of man, so I ascend my mountain to feel its good tidings. Upon the crest, peace flows into me like sunshine flowing into every living thing. Blessed sunshine, the epitome of benevolence, so life-giving and warmth-giving and happiness-giving, and to it I owe my thanks-giving. Isn't it miraculous that the sun, with all those planets revolving around it, can peek through man's brume to sprout new growth as if it had nothing else in the universe to do?

God's most foolproof recipe, of course, is a mix of sun and rain when all that's natural looks skyward to bathe and drink. Wiling away a day glassing a nest of peeping hawk downies a mere spittin' distance from my fence line, soft mizzles are loosed from a cloud upon my beloved perch. Foliage is washed of dust, tree trunks run wet, my rain barrel fills, then crisp, unsullied air leaves a delicious balm so heaven-scent. Mist hangs low over the ponds where unheard echoes rise from the newly hatched paddling blindly through haze.

So come with me and be refreshed by a morning walk to witness the woodland drama of it all. Let the earth delight our bare feet, and the breeze play with our hair, whistling like tiny storms blowing away our cares. Watch a leaping amphibian, listen to a pair of canines feigning their music together as though they number a half dozen, and witness a great deer grunting birth deep in Mother Nature's greenery. Thrill to her colors, sweet and wild scents, eerie screeches echoing off towering ramparts, raptors in majestic flight, and song birds striking up signature chords.

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

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***Many thanx to Nancy Kopp for her helpful edit on this one. I hope it sounds better this time as we celebrate Earth Day, April 22.