Sunday, July 3, 2011

Day 26, 27 of the Count Your Blessings Challenge

What began as a challenge because I was experiencing a great amount of difficulty, is now a challenge to fit all the blessings I can count in thirty posts. I now deem it impossible. Invariably when I'm discussing or thinking of one blessing, a dozen will crowd in, and soon they are college freshmen in a Volkswagen with room for just one more 'small one'!

But, I  soldier on.

Yesterday's post, a digression, about the beautiful stars is a perfect segue for my next subject. My love of nature.

I consider food to be a part of nature. Edible living things. Therefore my love of cooking, and eating, is included. 

Ever since I was a teenager and was responsible for many of the family meals while my mother was at work, I have always loved to cook! There are an astounding number of possibilities for recipes, and food groupings. So much so, that I wonder at our default to pizza, tacos and burgers!
My $25,000 sandwich!

I've been a fan of the Joy of Cooking cookbook for years. the description just under the title of my 1946 copy reads: a Compilation of Reliable Recipes with an Occasional Culinary Chat. The two copies in my bookcase are well-worn from my hands and the previous owners' hands. I plan on handing them down someday as I consider them necessary for any serious cook. Oops! You see, there I've done it again. I was talking about the blessing of food, and in walked something about how a book can be a blessing.

Well, about food. Isn't it lovely how we can always find our appetite again, eventually? Even after Thanksgiving! It always returns. That 'relishing' feeling when shopping, or poring over a menu or recipe book, or talking to a friend about a particular food. Everyday we get to eat. We can eat something different if we want, or make our favorites over and over. We can experiment. We can taste. We can explore a world of flavors, and sensations. And the colors! Beets, and romaine. Summer squash and red potatoes... Don't get me started.

On to the rest of nature. Rocks, trees, mountains, rivers and oceans!

My love of planting began when I was a child. I loved to help my father landscape our yard with decorative rock and plant the garden. His foot on the shovel was far stronger than mine back then, and I think of him every time I turn over soil.

Peaches from our tree
I have a friend who literally drives his backhoe down my street to bring me rocks he has unearthed in his job as an excavator. They are proud, permanent reminders of God's amazing creative ability. They serve no real purpose. I just like to look at them.

Trees. I have palm, ash, maple, magnolia, pear, palm, cherry, orange, lemon and peach trees in my yard. They all give their blessing to  me! The silhouette of  scrub oak against the golden rolling foothills near where we live is an unmatched masterpiece. Only God can make a tree.

A trip to the coast just to watch the ocean can reset my life in a day.  I have experienced the Atlantic, the Pacific, as well as Lake Michigan, The Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi, Tuolumne, American and Thames rivers, the Delta, the Bayous, and the Dead Sea. They all have their blessings! 

The relentless and faithful roll of the waves and flow of the current is certainly meant in part for the soul.

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