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How Beautiful Are the Small Things all around us

“Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God, But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I love those lines from Ms. Browning, but they are also a challenge to me. For too often I am one of those interested in the world around me only for what it can give me.

But sometimes not. I went for a hike a few weeks ago and spent the day in the woods. My wife asked me how far I hiked, since I was gone for seven or eight hours. "Maybe two", I replied. For distance was the last thing on my mind.

As soon as I stepped onto the path, a lovely pond rose up before me, with delicate water-lilies.

Near the pond, butterflies fluttered over the wildflowers, swooping down to receive nectar, joining beauty to beauty.

A lovely blueberry colored dragonfly lit on a branch beside me. He (she?) seemed not to mind my presence.

I stared and studied the dragonfly for some 20 minutes, agape at the strange beauty. Reluctantly I left and travelled up the trail. Less than 300 feet ahead, though, I had to stop and stare again.

I managed to get a short video of the tiny white spider weaving its shiny silk so intricately.

I walked down the path a little further, then stopped to lay on a log.

After a while the trail headed down to a creek, which was almost dry. I stopped and tried to take some macro shots on my phone.

I sat for an hour or so, then decided it was time to head home. On the way back, I decided to keep my opens open for fungus, which comes in so many colors and shapes.

I got in my car and headed back to the other (lesser?) reality of my house and city, filled with beauty and filled with peace.

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