God in all things, Photography, Scenery

Be Prepared

I have been trying to get a good spider web photo for years. This is by far the best I have gotten. As often happens, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time (with phone in hand). I was on a Sunday morning run when I saw this web glistening in the sun. It was easy to see from far away.

So often we find God when we aren’t even really looking. A good reason to always be prepared.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Obstructed View

This is a photo near Berea, Kentucky. It was taken while looking out through an opening in the trees. The trees were not quite dense enough to create a “tunnel” view, but they definitely made it difficult see everything along the hike. In other settings, we might talk about an “obstructed” view. Or even “blinds spots.”

Recent discussions have shown me how many of us have blind spots regarding racism in our society. The reflection from Jesuitprayer.org this morning reminded me that as followers of Jesus, there is no “neutral,” in the face of injustice. There’s only racist or anti-racist. Taking action requires moving (being open) to a different point of view to see beyond our “obstructions”.

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God in all things, Photography

Holes

This photo was taken at Sweet Arrow Nature Preserve earlier this month. The holes in this tree are from a woodpecker. As I understand, woodpeckers make holes looking for bugs/larva to eat. Holes this large may serve as a nest. Supposedly, these holes do not significantly affect the tree. However, a tree with many holes may not be healthy because it has/had many bugs.

Sometimes I feel like this tree, with my holes (flaws) completely exposed. It is reassuring to think that the “holes” are where God has removed my “bugs”.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

The Stalks

This is a photo of a banana tree in Panama. Which is really just a plant and not a tree. What looks like a trunk is really a “pseudostem” which grows from a “corm” in the ground. The leaves of banana plants are composed of a stalk and a blade. The pseudostem is made up of tightly packed leaf stalks.

When a banana plant is mature, the corm stops producing new leaves and begins to form a flower spike. The female flowers appear in rows further up the stem from the rows of male flowers and will develop into fruit.

So I wonder – if Jesus was born in Panama, would he have said “I am the corm and you are the stalks?” Doesn’t have quite the same vibe as vine and branches, does it?

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Encircled

This is another photo from Panama. This is actually one tree growing around another tree. I think the outer tree is a Strangler Fig (Ficus aurea). From Wikipedia: Ficus aurea is a fast-growing tree. It germinates in the canopy of a host tree and begins life as an epiphyte before growing roots down to the ground. The roots fuse and encircle the host tree. This usually results in the death of the host tree, since it effectively girdles the tree. 

I’m tempted to use this as a metaphor for our spiritual life. In that God wraps us up and takes over our lives. But only to the degree that we let God take over. And it does not result in our death, but abundant life!

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Waiting in Stillness

This photo was taken earlier this month at Longwood Gardens near Philadelphia. It reminds me that during Advent, we wait in quiet and darkness.

Lord of Light, our only hope of glory,

your radiance shines in all who look to you. Come light the hearts of all in dark and shadow.

O Root of Life, implant your seed within us, and in your advent draw us all to you,

our hope reborn in dying and in rising.

For you, O lord, my soul in stillness waits;

Truly my hope is in you.

(Marty Haugen)

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God in all things, Scenery

Autumn

This photo was taken in early November.

It is evident that autumn is upon us, as evidenced by the change in color of the leaves. Fast forward less than two weeks and it feels like winter is upon us.

Just as winter is associated with dying and death, autumn can be associated with the aging process. Similar to the leaves changing color as winter approaches, my hair is rapidly becoming gray. Wrinkles are appearing.

The seasons also remind us of the circle of life. Summer fades into autumn as then to winter which eventually leads to spring and new life. I look around and see new life in my grand children.

God said “It is good”

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Scenery

Mountains

I am surprised that I had not previously shared this photo. It was taken 2 years ago in Glacier NP on our hike to Siyeh Pass. There are so many things I like in this view. The wild flowers in the foreground. The spindly pine trees on the right. The creek running through the middle. But what really draws my attention is the mountain in the distance.

Mountains are a symbol of strength. We talk about “mountaintop” experiences. God spoke to Moses on a mountain. Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.

Thankfully, we do not have to climb a mountain to encounter God.

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