Log In

Reset Password

Warmest regards: Appreciating the wonders of our world

I don’t use the word awesome if I can help it because it’s so overused.

We liberally sprinkle the word awesome into everyday conversation.

If we find a good restaurant that pleases us we say it’s awesome.

If a friend says she’ll call when she comes to town, we say that’s awesome.

Actually, awesome is a powerful word when aptly applied to something stunningly extraordinary.

But it’s a word that lost its power when too many people began to use it as common slang to describe everything.

While I avoid using it for that reason, I do use the word awe.

Each morning when I go for what I call my gratitude walk I tune into the ever-changing kaleidoscope of nature.

I like when I start my walk just as the day awakens and I see the first red streak in the dark sky.

As I watch the sun begin to light the lake with an amber glow, it grows in intensity until the reflection of the sky in the lake looks like the water is on fire. In times like that I feel what I can only describe as awe.

I walk the same path every morning, but every day is different because nature is ever changing. Even the air has a different smell each day and so does the wind.

Sometimes it’s a soft breeze that gently kisses my face. Other times it’s wind that whips up the water in a show of force.

I listen each day for the start of nature’s symphony. When I hear the chorus of birds, I listen carefully to hear who’s doing that day’s early morning concert.

It changes every morning. Sometimes it’s the mockingbirds that can sing all the parts. Sometimes it’s the joyful call of a lone little sparrow. Other times it’s the commanding call of a committee of crows or a pair of sandhill cranes.

On occasion four or five of those magnificent sandhill cranes do the most entertaining dance while they make their raucous call.

The more we take time to observe the smallest aspects of nature, the more we learn to appreciate the wonder of our world.

I am dazzled each day by the wonders of nature. It’s seeing and hearing those tiny wonders that can turn the start of my day special into something extraordinary.

On occasion it’s a challenge for me to get out there and walk.

This week, after four straight days of serious rain, I wasn’t staying inside any longer. I picked up an umbrella and went for a walk.

There is no such thing as an ordinary day. Each one is a special gift. And that colorless rain-drenched day was no exception. I found myself laughing like a little kid jumping over puddles.

Although I thrive on sunny days, I was happy when I didn’t let the rain stop my early morning gratitude walk.

As I take in the beauty of nature each day, I thank God for his wondrous creation.

Although I am not well-traveled, I do get to appreciate the wonders of other parts of this grand country - thanks to TV.

I just got finished watching HGTV’s show on beachfront bargains in Oregon. What a beautiful state. I might even be tempted to use the word awesome to describe the rocky coast, pounding waves and majestic mountains.

When I am overwhelmed with the beauty of this world, I think of the song “What a Wonderful World.”

Written in 1967, that optimistic song stayed popular through the decades because many believe as I do that it is a wonderful world.

I also believe many people in it are also wonderful. Even a casual encounter can bring home to me the goodness of people.

The woman I hired to help take care of my lawn is a case in point. Although it was raining lightly, she showed up anyhow and went straight to work. She told me regardless of rain she has to work because she’s a single mother, the sole support of her family.

Although she rents a small bungalow for her and her three children, she didn’t hesitate to take in a relative’s child who was headed for foster care.

Then when her daughter-in-law came to her door with her four children, she didn’t say there was no room for them. She took them in and put blow-up mattresses on the floor.

While she admits it means working harder and longer to support all of them, she says she couldn’t turn her back on someone needing help.

“They’re family,” she says. “We take care of family. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do?”

Well, yes. But most of us living in crowded quarters wouldn’t take in five more people.

After I wrote last week’s column about hard feelings in families that cause relatives to stop talking to each other, I heard from a few readers feeling the emotional pain of family separation.

Maybe that’s why I was so taken with the lawn worker doing so much to help her relatives. She didn’t judge their circumstances. She just tries to help.

It’s nice to know there is still so much overriding goodness out there.

It is a wonderful world. And I always like to hear about caring people that reach out to help others.

Contact Pattie Mihalik at newsgirl@comcast.net.