Author:  Julie Renouf

My husband and I like to go for walks, whether in a park, the woods, or just in our neighborhood. In the woods, we look for deer tracks; and we look and listen for different kinds of birds. But you know, I must admit, I am not the most graceful hiker in the world. I always seem to get myself in some kind of trouble. For instance, why am I always the one to step in deer doo-doo? Why am I the one who always gets smacked in the face by a low-hanging branch? And why am I the one to walk right into a huge spider web?

I remember one time we were hiking up this long, steep hill. I thought I would have a heart attack before we reached the top, but it was well worth the view when we finally climbed to the top. After we rested, we started back down, and I got to tell you, going down the hill was a different story. I don’t think God ever intended for short, stubby legs to run so fast. I think I outran a deer on the way down the hill. I was going so fast – I think I entered another time warp. I think I saw into the future. I think I saw Elvis! Well, maybe not!

Anyway, the point of this story, and it does have a point, is this. The next time you go out into your yard or walk in the woods, take time to notice all the different kinds of flowers, bushes, and trees. Smell them, touch them. Notice how the leaves and petals feel in your hands. Listen to the different bird calls. Let your mind imagine what they might be saying to each other. It’s all part of nature. It’s all God’s creation. Nature is all around us – God’s arms embracing us. And who doesn’t need a hug from God?