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A Shower of Leaves and Acorns

The other day as I was walking around the camp where I live and work, I experienced a moment of unadulterated serendipity.  That is, I stumbled into an unexpected circumstance of good fortune.  Here's how it went down:

As I said, I was cruising the grounds, taking delightful notice of the sweet breeze that was blowing around.  Nice breezes are a bit uncommon where I reside, so it did come to my attention.  (One of the greatest combinations on earth, by the way, is a sweet breeze plus big trees.  The concert of sound these two things put on, when combined, is tough to beat.)  As I walked about, enjoying the breeze and the trees, and the fall colors, something amazing happened.  I suddenly found myself amidst a veritable deluge of acorns and leaves!  As it is fall where I live (as it is for most places north of the equator), and as it so happens that there are many leaves where I live, and as it so happens that many of the trees that bear these leaves are Oak trees...well, you can see where this is going.  Somehow, someway, I serendipitied myself smack into the middle of a confluence of nature: trees, leaves, acorns and sweet breeze.  The breeze nudged the tree, the tree swayed in a most tree-like fashion, the leaves came loose, and the acorns fell.  And there I was, standing smack-dab in the right place at the right time.

It gets better.  Since the sweet breeze was still breezing, the leaves didn't just fall, as the acorns did.  They swirled.  They swirled around like a miniature leaf tornado, with me at the vortex.  So I stood there, enjoying my acorn shower and leaf tornado, thinking to myself, "This might be a top twenty moment."  Not only was the sensation of standing in the middle of such a leafy turbulence delightful, but the sound of it all!  The sound of the scores of acorns falling (some striking me directly on the noggin), the sounds of the leaves rustling by, the sound of the wind playing the tree like an instrument.  It was quite the show!

Like with most things exquisite and sublime, the end came too quickly.   The breeze blew elsewhere, the tree stopped swaying, the acorns quit falling and the leaves drifted down.  The show was over.  However, it is still with me.  Like the first time I saw a Cirque de Soleil show, I won't soon forget.

For me, enjoying nature is somewhat like enjoying golf.  In golf, I usually play pretty poorly.  Occasionally, however, I do something rare.  I hit a long, straight drive.  I hit a middle iron and put the ball mere inches (feet? yards?) from the hole.  I sink a looooong putt.  It is these moments of rare accomplishment which keep me interested in the game.  Likewise with nature.  Sometimes nature is all weeds and thorns and mud and itch.  However, she often shows her better side, particularly when we put ourselves in a position to observe.  My acorn shower will join the list alongside sunsets at the Grand Canyon, a mirror-smooth lake in British Columbia, sitting alone in the Yaak river in northwest Montana, the entire coast of Oregon, Emerald Lake outside of Crested Butte, watching the sun set over the edge of the ocean in the Cayman Islands, the fall colors happening right now just outside of my front door.

Last year I lived in an unspeakably dismal city.  Nature didn't exist in this city; it had been killed.  So it is with much thanksgiving and gratefulness that I find myself once again in a position to observe.  I don't worship nature.  But I do think it proper to use my adoration of nature as a means to better worship God, whom I believe is the causative agent of ALL things good, nature included.

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