Last week I attended a Mother-Daughter Relief Society meeting with Gail and Caroline. It was done on the theme from Johnny Lingo and being an Eight Cow Woman. You need to be familiar with the story of Johnny Lingo, so if you are not, please view the classic film at your local LDS Temple visitor's center. We attended several little presentations that dealt with varying aspects of life--pampering ourselves, recognizing our spiritual worth, music, goals, money, and some fun stuff. It was Misty's presentation on our worth as women that got me thinking. She asked the question: "What brings you joy? What to you just LOVE?" We were not allowed to answer anything that included newborn babies, ourselves, or our family. Those might have been the pat answers that any and all of us would have and could have answered. There were little girls who answered and they gave answers that were nature-related, like "flowers" "The ocean." Stuff like that. It was nice. Misty's ending though for us was that WE are the crowning creation of God. And I know that. I have a great deal of self-worth and appreciate the crowning creations of our Heavenly Father. But can I just tell you what makes me smile? They are very simple things. I almost hesitate to share them lest you think I am too simple-minded.
Crickets. Not the actual insect (ugh!), but the sweet sounds that they make at night. I just smile every night as I fling open our bedroom window that faces our back yard and the room is filled with the sounds of those chirping crickets. They make me smile. I just love them! I miss them when they go away for the winter. They are seasonal, but when they are here (outside, where they belong and NOT in my house!!), they make me happy. They make my day complete as my head hits the pillow and I can smile as I drift off to sleep. I appreciate the fact that they are almost so loud as to drown out the freeway noises that are sometimes just a little to close and loud for me. Summertime in the hammock under the apple tree in my backyard at dusk with crickets chirping (and before the mosquitos find me) is a blissful time for me.
Moss. Not the slimy stuff on the edge of the creek, but the deep green, smooth-as-velvet kind that clings to rocks and trees in the wet. I just have a thing for moss. It IS nature's velvet! It's as though the fabric manufacturers tried to replicate nature when they invented velvet. Moss is just so luxuriant. It's smooth and carpet-like, it's rich with moisture. It makes me want to be a small creature and just curl up on top of it to snuggle down into it. It looks really cool when it's flowering/propigating, too. I love green. We don't see much moss in this desert state that I live in, so when I do have the chance to be out hiking in an area that does have moss, it makes me pause. I have to stop and look and feel and enjoy. It's very difficult to just walk by and NOT do that! I remember being little and using it for carpet in Troll houses in outdoor play. I remember being older and studying it in biology class. I still just like it. Moss. Deep green, luxuriant moss. Nick can vouch for me. I hiked with him once when there was moss along the trail. I couldn't help but stop, could I? It's pretty. It makes me happy. It reminds me of water, which is SO vital to us as humans, and it gives me hope.
And on a side note, I think Spanish moss hanging from trees in the deep South is pretty cool, too! It's just a different kind of moss. :-)
All these things, and many more that I see, remind me that we live in a beautiful world that was created for OUR enjoyment. That's what I try to do--enjoy it. I like to share the joy. I enjoying seeing the colors of the clouds change at sunrise and sunset, or just as they are there and UNchanging. I yearn to paint the clouds (which is practically impossible!) and capture their beauty with watercolors. I find great satisfaction in watching little finches as they feed among the sunflowers. There are so many different kinds! I marvel at grand waterfalls, and the vistas we can see every day by just looking out our windows or walking down the street. My list can go on and on and on.
The grand and the small--I love them all.
(The blog entry would be complete with lovely nature photos. I have none from this computer, so imagine your own!)
My OTHER September thoughts concern our missionary who will be home at the end of the month! YAY!