“Sometimes it seems like nature is just showing off”
This was the caption on my computer screen one day last week as it showed a gorgeous picture of rainbow eucalyptus trees in Maui, Hawaii. This tree is native to the Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. It has multi-colored bark featuring hues of lavender, blue, green, orange and maroon. It is a tall tree with smooth, orange-tinted bark that sheds in strips, revealing streaks of pale green, red, orange, gray and purplish brown.
I think it is good for us recognize, appreciate, and thank the almighty power behind the wonders of nature.
When I observe the aurora in Fairbanks, Alaska, I am awed by this show that nature gives us. There are other examples–the peacock, the dance of the honey bees, and the frolicking of newborn baby goats. Sometimes we should just look for the wonder in ordinary things, the wind blowing through the leaves or the water flowing over stones in a brook.
There is a beautiful hymn known as “Akathist of Thanksgiving” composed by Gregory Petrov shortly before his death in a Siberian prison camp in 1940. You can access it here. The following is a short sample from the hymn:
“O Lord, how lovely it is to be Your guest. Breeze full of scents; mountains reaching to the skies: water like boundless mirrors, reflecting the sun’s golden rays and the scudding clouds. All nature murmurs mysteriously, breathing the depth of tenderness. Birds and beasts of the forest bear the imprint of Your love. Blessed are You, mother earth, in Your fleeting loveliness, which wakens our yearning for happiness that will last for ever, in the land where, amid beauty that grows not old, the cry rings out: Alleluia!”