My mom adventures in Fort Collins


21-Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 14

I am continuing the Gratitude Challenge from Kindspring.org. Today’s prompt asks, “When Has Nature Taken Your Breath Away?”

I’m fortunate to live in an area where nature’s beauty is ubiquitous and I reap the benefits of nature often. I think that nature frequently makes me a calmer, more gracious person. Bright sunshine, blue skies and mountain skylines have that effect on a lot of people.

However, what the question asks is when has nature taken my breath away? That is asking about a wholly different, much more special experience of nature .

I posted a few words about our trip to Yellowstone National Park (YNP) this past summer, and that’s a recent experience that immediately comes to mind. I think my thoughts on YNP essentially make me sound like a dummy who finally got my face out of my phone, took off the earbuds, and paid attention to the world around her (oh, and I don’t even actually own any of those gadgets), but I’m going to say it anyway: Yellowstone is so completely wacky and amazing, a juxtaposition of classic beauty and unique peculiarities. I visited that place and declared, “Wow. I like nature and I thought I knew nature, but THIS is nature like I’ve never seen before.” It is akin to a journey that takes you to an alpine gloryland followed by a visit to an alternative planet of foul smelling geothermal oddities, as if the sweet, gorgeous Mother Nature is digesting her lunch right below your very feet. And this says nothing of the bison, elk and bears that just hang out in this deeply wild land.

The majesty of the Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park

The stunning Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park

But another place of utter majesty that comes to mind is the Grand Canyon. Now, admittedly, I’ve not hiked the Bright Angel Trail or taken in the off-the-beaten-path Grand Canyon. I’ve never done much but drive around the southern rim and take in the view. Essentially, I’ve only done the McGrand  Canyon, when there is a bounty of endless gourmet meals. But all the same, when you sit at the edge of that seemingly-endless canyon and attempt to fathom the wonders of geology and time, it is nothing but amazing. When folks talk about the Clark Griswold version of viewing the Grand Canyon (basically, a quick look and a nod to acknowledge the beauty), I can laugh along with them, but deep in my heart I know this canyon is special. This canyon is magnificent.

One of the many views of the southern rim of the Grand Canyon

One of the many views from the southern rim of the Grand Canyon

For me, this talk of nature and majesty goes hand in hand with my spirituality. I find God in nature, and nature can conjure up very intense feelings for me. If there is one very intense way to experience nature and God, well, there is this:

tickercheckAnd this:

img_4805The intersection of love and God and nature? That is an incredible, awe-inspiring, knee-buckling place, and it’s only fitting that gratitude would live in that place, too.

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2 Comments so far
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Love the pictures – especially the babies! One has so much hair – so sweet!

Comment by jeandayfriday

I know, so crazy, right? The hairy one is Scout and Ruby is the baldie. (Don’t you love the way I refer to my kids?) Funny to remember them ever being that small. Thanks for commenting.

Comment by jaymers




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