With my notebook in hand, I sit down on the swing bench on my back porch. Tuning into all my senses, I close my eyes, I slow my breathing, and I deepen my concentration. Free from visual distractions, I calm my mind and lay down to take in what I could observe through my auditory senses. I feel the warmth from the sunshine above. I feel the gentle breeze. I open my eyes and squint at the change in light. Eyes narrowed, I survey my surroundings. The clear sky didn't have a single cloud to block the rays of the radiant sun. As I began to relax, I could start to sense a feeling of peace as I gazed at the outstretched deep blue canopy above and felt the penetrating warmth that emanated from the sky. Every once in a while a cool breeze would pass by and ease away the sun's intense heat bath for brief moment. A bee crawls on a beautiful lavender lilac, taking its pollen. It gracefully lifts itself into the air, its wings moving so fast it appears is if they’re standing still. I watch as it slowly moves from flower to flower. The chirping of the cicadas and crickets echo throughout the foliage. The flowers and plants gently sway in the wind. I observe further still, doing my best not to move, just to take in the atmosphere. It’s truly marvelous, the detail and creativity of God’s creation. A bird hops on the ground; it looks up at me with its big blue eyes, full of so much curiosity. I look up at the beautifully vibrant blue sky; I see the clouds, so high above, each with their beautifully detailed shapes, slowly moving in the same direction as if the rest of the world is standing still. I stand up, barefoot, still in awe. I slowly walk forward, the boards creaking as I step off the deck and onto the soft soil of the lawn. The grass feels good between my toes.
As I see all this happening around me, it finally sinks in how full of life my environment is, and how much I can find in somewhere as close as my backyard. I never took the time before to just peacefully sit and survey nature, analyzing it detail. It was an incredibly valuable experience and I now have a whole new appreciation for God’s creation. But more importantly, it has made me realize how distant I have been lately, and has given me both the need and the desire to draw closer to my heavenly Father.