What is so appealing about walking in the quiet and solitude of the woods, or visiting the untouched beauty of a nature reserve? What in us is being touched when we take in the beauty of the Grand Canyon or gaze at the wonder of the Rocky Mountains? Why does our soul feel soothed when a gentle breeze lightly caresses our skin as the song of morning birds echo each other? There is something about nature in its raw, untouched form that impacts most of us.
Recently I saw a river cutting through canyon walls draped with vines and wallpapered with moss and it stirred in me that very question; what is so drawing and deep reaching about nature untouched?
Beauty unscathed, unmarked and pure, brings us back to the garden. The garden of Eden, where innocence was born and where innocence was lost. Here abides something we all long for, the un-tampered signature of God.
Beauty has been stolen from us. We begin with life in its purest form, the perfection of a new born baby. But corruption soon begins its work and what was once innocence on display slowly becomes defiled and changed by this present world of "sin-fluence." What a disappointment to the the depths of our heart. It was never supposed to be this way.
But God, in His mercy and giving nature, provides us with glimpses of His beauty; of what was supposed to be. The great Original Intent. And so we take a walk miles away from the constructions and formations of man deep into the wild quietness of nature; and our hearts are touched with a temporary peace. Beauty is on display, so we grab a hold while we can and soak it in. Soon we will be back to the tampered world we live in.
A cruel tease? Hardly. No, this is a promise from God; a foretaste of beauty to come. Hidden in the corruption this side of Eden are remnants of that beautiful garden. Why do you think Jesus loved gardens so much? I imagine they reminded Him of home. Enjoy the same reminders and indulge in His beauty on display. It's free and like Him, it's good.
(Paintings by Audrey Furcinitti)