Yesterday I was down with the blues, but did not know why. So I went dancing last night, which usually restores my upbeat. They were teaching the Hustle, I dance I had never done. The dance is a kind of swing, and I liked it. Rotating dance partners was enjoyable too, until I realized I was the poor man in the circle, as far as knowing the dance…..everyone else danced like a pro! By the time I left the dancehall I was feeling just as down as when I had come.
This morning I put on my tennies and committed to a fast walk along the arroyo. As a professional runner once said “People on the running track are not depressed”. Of course that’s easily explained…..the depressed people stay home, sit on the couch, and stew in their situations. Anyway, I decided that I could at least pray for family and friends and maybe that would help my feelings.
I decided to try to be a noticer this morning. The first thing I noticed was a handsome hawk sitting low on a branch of a mesquite tree not twenty feet away. The tree had many thin beans, some that must have been a foot long. I have been told that in emergencies, one can cook these beans but that they just do not taste any good. The hawk was gray-brown all over, except for black bands on his tail, and I think he was a Sharp-Shinned hawk (they commonly prey on feeder birds, and an adjacent house had a bird-feeder). The hawk looked at me as I looked at him, and he seemed to say “Cheer up….there are many pleasures in this arroyo, if you care to observe”.
A little further along I saw some attractive white flowers, small and close to the ground. I leaned over to peer at them, and noticed a cross in the center of each flower, surrounded by five petals. Five petals on every flower. Why five? I will have to ask a biologist about these pentagon petals. The hawk and the white cross-flowers made me think about the Design-God, and these miniature footprints of creation. I started feeling better.
The next thing I noticed was a small bush with vivid purple flowers. Since purple is my favorite color, I examined the blossoms more closely, and discovered it was a pea-flower. That is, each tiny flower had a sweet-pea structure. As a kid I had grown green peas in the garden, and knew the pea flower structure. The most celebrated flower in Australia is Sturts Desert Pea, a stunning deep red color surrounding a coal-black bulb. Just a few inches in size, the flower blooms briefly in the remote desert regions of the country. Memories of seeing the rare Sturts Desert Pea in Australia boosted my spirits even more.
I found myself thanking God for my feet and eyes and brain: that I could walk and see, observe and think. What a wonderful creation we are! The thankful attitude made me feel better. When I arrived home, the blues were gone and optimism had returned.
The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers……
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans, chapter 1).
“I will praise you, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will recount all your marvelous works and wonderful deeds! I will rejoice in you and be in high spirits; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High!” (Psalm 9, Amplified Bible).
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