Learning Among the Green

Growing up, my parents took us camping. I’m going out on a big, sturdy limb, here, to say that we went camping, not because my mom loved it, but because we could afford to take longer vacations that way, which Mom DID love!

I have yet to discover the appeal of camping, but since my last post on the subject, I’ve been digging again into As You Like It, and found something of note:

And this our life exempt from public haunt
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
I would not change it. – Act II, Scene 1

The scene is the Forest of Arden. Duke Senior and his LordsΒ  live in exile like Robin Hood and his band of merry men. He doesn’t seem to mind not being courted and kissed-up-to though times are tough in the forest and food is scarce. He discovered that God speaks through his creation.

From the first Garden God planted (the first “Master Planned Community,” if you will), he has ordered nature to point to his glory. There are lessons in the green trees and the blue seas and birds and the bees.

I find that when I sit outside, like I did on the beach last weekend, or when I go for a walk to a mountain waterfall (my favorite para-camping activity), I can shut out the world of cell phones, email, annoying kids’ TV, toys with battery-powered sounds and just focus on what God has created, and that includes me.

The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those that dwell therein – Psalm 24:1


I am a testament of God’s power and planning. I was created to reflect his glory more so than the birds of the air or lilies of the field. He created me to faith that can move the mountains into the sea. He also created Adam, and created me, to learn from his creation and care for it.

Hear the tongues in the trees that speak languages different from our own. Read the books in running brooks. Apply the sermons told upon the stones and look for the good in everything.

What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited? What lessons can you learn from nature?


35 responses to “Learning Among the Green

  1. Most beautiful place? The swiss alps. In the middle of nowhere. Just driving and stopped off the side of the road. It was breathtaking.

    As far as a lesson goes, I’m reminded how small we are in comparison to His greatness.

    • I did a project on Switzerland and the Alps in 4th grade and did a ton of research. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to visit and see it firsthand, just never had the chance. Thanks, Dustin.

  2. I was climbing this cliff in Norway called Preikestolen, and while the hike was tough the awesome beauty of the whole scene took my breath away. It looked like something from a movie or a magazine. I was amazed a place that like was real.

  3. in 1999 I took a trip with my family (parents and syblings). It was a road trip. Awesome! I remember stopping on the side of the road in Wyoming and look over the mountain…and this beautiful navy blue lake surrrounded by the white snow was breath taking….and I remember thinking…God is Amazing.
    I actually wrote a song about those trips we used to take….
    sigh….good times….good times….

  4. Amen is the first thing that comes to mind for this post. πŸ™‚

    Maybe it’s partly because I don’t travel much, but I think one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is just down the road from me. It’s not so much the place itself that’s beautiful though. It’s a rather ordinary little field. It’s the big broad view of the sky at sunset that’s breathtaking there. I’m also partial to the stars viewed from my yard on a really clear night. I’m sensing a theme in my thoughts. :>

    • the sky is beautiful. I think being simultaneously significant and insignificant is a huge draw for me in the “beauty” dept.

      I’m so small, and yet, he earnestly pursues me.

  5. Incidentally, snickeringcorpses = Jonathan B, depending on whether I’ve logged in or not.

  6. El Eden (The Eden) in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. It’s where they filmed the movie Predator. I’ts gorgeous, filled with wild life (we saw an alligator) and waterfalls and rivers. I jumped off the waterfall Arnold did when he was being chased by the Predator… except I was being chased by my wife, that pervert. πŸ™‚

    Nature tells me that we serve a God who is very much interested in the small details, from camouflaging reptiles, to rainbows, to waterfalls and exotic, colorful birds.

  7. I’ve been to many beautiful places but I think the one that resonates most is Lake Tahoe in the winter. It was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve grown up a spit’s distance from the beach my entire life and this was only the second time I had seen snow.

    The beauty floored me and I was awestruck by the majesty of creation. I felt like I got saved all over again.

  8. I’ve traveled (and lived) around the world. Thai beaches are up there. The Rockies near my backyard are up there. The south island of New Zealand is up there.

    But there is something about the sky in Manitoba. I grew up on a grain farm. Whether it was the sunsets or the night sky (that I’d often watch sitting on the hood of a 5-tonne grain truck in a field — waiting for the next load of grain from the combine), there was something truly awesome and spiritual about the stars and the northern lights.

  9. I would normally say any beach I visit, I get all trance-like, but my favorite beach has to be Poipu Beach on Kauai.

    Along with just the sheer awesomeness of waves, I’ve learned that no matter how hard I try, sometimes you just can’t swim against them and you have to go with them in order to get out.

    There’s an analogy in there somewhere…

  10. The Dandenong rain forest in Australia and the Great Ocean Road (nearly 300km drive in Oz) is beautiful, parts of Egypt I found beautiful, standing on the top of Mount Sinai to watch the sunrise was beautiful and there is also beautiful scenery in the provincial park that is about an hour and a half from here.

    • I realize writing this post, that I’ve been exactly nowhere. All these places sound so amazing!

      • I’ll sit in the nowhere corner with you so you don’t get lonely, Kristin. I’ve actually physically at least passed through all of I think 7 states in my life, none of them north of the Mason-Dixon line or west of the Mississippi River, and no foreign countries. I don’t travel much.

  11. We have a lot of trees in our backyard. And, especially in the spring when they’re growing and reaching higher and higher into the sky, it appears that they’re worshipping Him. I know that’s simple, but it’s really what I think. How they seem to stretch upward in worship. I love it!

    Most beautiful place? That is rough. I’ve visited so many gorgeous places. But, what I always go back to is the most beautiful beach in the world: Kailua, Hawaii-2 blocks from my childhood home. πŸ™‚

    • Let us all sit and have a moment of silence to ask forgiveness for our envy of Keri growing up two blocks from a Hawaii beach. πŸ˜‰

    • That’s a really great thought, about the trees worshiping. And, like Jonathan B, I’m envious of the Hawaiian upbringing. I didn’t grow up in Hawaii, but I did finish off a Hawaiian Punch last night

      • And how many times did the old “Punchy” commercials run through your head while you were finishing off that Hawaiian Punch? Or is that just me when I read the words? :>

    • I miss “super gloomy Seattle”. We are already in the mid-90’s in middle TN and it’s awful. Of course I’m weird (probably from growing up in Seattle). When it’s gloomy and rainy out, I’m happier than I am on a sunny day. I love Seattle weather.

  12. I love nature and despise camping. haha. Actually I love everything about camping except for the sleeping on the ground in a hot or cold tent part. Just a couple weeks ago my cousins were camping with their kids, so my daughter and I joined them for a day of hiking, swimming, cooking out, and s’mores. Then about 11pm we headed home for our beds. πŸ™‚

    I grew up in Seattle, so I would have to say that almost anything in the NorthWest could be called the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen. I’ve been across the southern United States, from Washington (down through Orgeon and California) all the way to Tennessee, and for me nothing compares to the evergreens and mountains of Washington. Maybe I just need to go camping in WA again instead of TN.

    • You need to come further over than Tenessee. You might find the Blue Ridge in NC to your liking. It’s not as tall as the west coast ranges, though. Loads of gorgeous country up there, especially when the leaves turn for fall.

      • I agree, there is plenty that I haven’t seen – and would love to see. (I really want to go to Maine for example.)

    • That’s the part I can’t take, either, sleeping on the ground and other extreme sleeping conditions. If I get permission from my ex-husband, I’ll post the story of our ill-fated anniversary camping trip… nightmare!

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