Friday, October 23, 2009

Picture This

Last weekend I spent two days in a quaint cottage on Lake Michigan with eight other women, working on scrapbooks. I’ve attended several overnight scrapbooking marathons, but this one was unusual for me for two reasons. First, this event lasted the full weekend instead of a twenty-four hour period, and second, one of the women attending was my daughter. As my kids get older, I’m more and more amazed at the wonderful adults they have become, despite their upbringing!

I had a later start due to my work schedule, but I eventually made it there and got to work. I love to arrange the pictures on the pages, often embellishing them with color, and journaling so that I can go back later and relive special times. But my favorite part of the weekend was when my daughter and I took some time on Saturday afternoon to stroll the boardwalk toward the beach.

I love fall in Michigan. It’s one of the reasons I moved back here after attending undergraduate school out of state. The colors are so plentiful and vivid, and the brisk coolness in the air just energizes me. And being outdoors near the water, I was enveloped in a calm that I hadn’t felt in a while. I’m not an “outdoors” enthusiast. Given a choice, I will almost always choose an indoor activity over an outdoor one, and I often admire the scenery from the comfort of my home or car. But there was something about the combination of the water, the cool air, and the colorful foliage that gave me a sense of peace and rightness with the world. I guess it was God’s way of reminding me how powerful He is.

We returned to our scrapbooking cottage refreshed and ready to resume our work. But my gaze kept straying to the windows, back to the source of my peace. On Sunday afternoon I went home, back to my frenzied life. A few days later I picked up my copies of the pictures I took during our walk. Amazingly, my heart lightened and I experienced the same sense of contentment I felt last Saturday. How incredible, this power of nature to calm and heal the soul!

So this past week, whenever I had the opportunity to be outdoors, I took time to really look at my surroundings. I am surrounded by beauty and splendor, some created by man, some not. It’s creativity at its best. And it makes me happy.

We’re not quite at the peak of the color season, but there was enough color for some lovely pictures. Thank goodness for phone cameras!

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