On Sunday we had a special Stake Conference with visiting General Authority Elder Neil A. Andersen. He shared his powerful testimony and spoke from the words of Christ. He words were thought-provoking, but best of all, through the Spirit of Christ, he inspired within me a renewed respect for the natural beauty surrounding us.
Before attending conference I started to notice the change of season and the effects taken on by the trees. I have always loved trees. I don't know if that sounds odd alone without explanation. Much of my time spent as an only child was used to climb trees (and walls, and fences, etc.). My favorite spot was a cherry tree in my parents back yard. At the top of the tree was a perfect spot to sit and recline and view the surrounding yards.
A few times a year, driving to the Uintah basin, I loved to see the change in landscape. And the change in trees from suburban maples, mountainous pines, hills of aspens, and the lonesome juniper atop a forever plateau.
Every now and then I think back to a Young Women advisor who came back to live in our ward after having left to live in SF for a few years with her husband to attend dental school. I remember her talk in church about how she found the transition to living in SF difficult. She missed family and familiarity (little did I know I would relate to her in the near future). When one day on the bus she described watching the trees pass by and the peace she had prayed for came in the ability to recognize beauty around her.
Elder Andersen mentioned a line along the same vein. In short, he reminded us that this world is not our home. That this life is a test, and so it is not always or immediately fair. Although a tangent on the idea of home, the thoughts that came to my mind were that Earth is not where our intelligence originated yet this Earth is a gift from God meant to support the plan of salvation. That the Earth is given to us and that it is not man made, but molded by a God. How that molding occurred is something beyond this post. But considering the Earth a beautiful fluke sounds a pale in comparison to the deliberate wonder of the Earth's creation that it is. Yeah, I'm starting to sound a little pulpy. But now I get, to an extent now, those that say they can see the love of God in nature.
Elder Andersen complimented these thoughts later on when he spoke of serving one another. I'm hoping that when I appreciate the natural wonders around me that I remember longer to respect the Lord's most beautiful creation, his children. Not that I dislike people. But it's only too easy to loose trust in the general population and the crazy cab driver that threatens your life with his creative driving.
I want to incorporate more wood into our interiors at home eventually. I really like distressed oak. More pretty pictures below.