I was raised by nature lovers. My parents raised me to adore the beauty of the world. They pointed it out everywhere we went. The various colors that made up a gorgeous sunset. The spring buds making their grand debut on the barren tree branches. The way a field of grain looked when the sun was slanted just so. Maybe that's why I always feel so compelled to take close-up pictures of nature on trips, etc. like here (at the end of the post) and here. I love the details of it all.
On particularly lucky days growing up, my Dad would take us on "nature walks." We'd look for the "signs of spring" when the snow finally melted and the earth would begin to thaw. We'd oooo and ahhhh about the green shoots popping out of the ground and the way the tulips would open to greet the day.
Sometimes when summer drew to a close he would announce on some random morning that he had felt it: the slight change in the air. The change that meant Fall was on it's way. After that we'd look for "signs of Fall" and we'd soak up the vibrancy of the oranges and reds spreading slowly, gradually through the green trees surrounding us and creeping down the mountains by where we lived.
I think my parents' love of beauty was key in creating the strong ties we all feel to Bear Lake. Living there each summer growing up we'd get our breath taken away each day as we'd watch the lake turn to different colors according to the mood of how the sun would hit it.
One day it would be emerald green. The next it would be slate gray matching the tumultuous mood of the clouds bringing in a storm. Then the next day it would be bright turquoise striped with the tiny white cap waves that would spread white lines out in rhythmic motion across as far as we could see.
Yes, our love of the lake grew as our love of nature did. And I'm so thankful for that.
This year even more than the color of the lake, I loved soaking in the sky. And I tried to capture it as it changed moods:
I love that my kids have started pointing out beauty to me. Lately I've noticed that they'll stop me to check out a sunset, or the way a particular cloud looks like a giant laughing pig.
I'm so thankful to my parents for helping us feel that extra measure of gratitude for the earth.
And I'm so thankful to God for making it all so beautiful.