Spring is sprung and people are instinctively heading outdoors. For many people this May long weekend kicks off the start to camping season. Families are about to start spending a whole lot more time together, in cars, in tents, by campfires, and around picnic tables. They are going to be reminded of how good food can taste even if it is over-cooked, under-cooked, or otherwise shows signs of being cooked using pretty rudimentary kitchen tools. A great many of us are about to take the time to look at the flowers, admire the sun rising or setting, and appreciating the renewal offered by a breeze.
Personally I most especially look forward to the quiet of it all, the lack of cars and sirens, and in my case at least, the end of phone calls and e-mails (I so very much hope for you that if you are among those who camp you will find the freedom of leaving you phone behind). Phone or not, the truth is that nature isn’t actually all that quiet. I’ve camped where bears interrupt your meals and your sleep, I’ve camped where the bugs were so loud and vicious that it was hard to decide what was noisier the sound of the bugs or the sound of my arms flailing as I gave up all pretences.
I’ve also heard the sound of a brook that helped me to sleep, and marveled at the sound of wolves howling off in the distance at the moon. I’ve stood in awe as an eagle swooped and I could hear the sound of the air making way for it. And I’m not sure there is a much more satisfying noise than a paddle hitting the water at the perfect angle.
It all reminds me of the promise we find in Isaiah where it says “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands” (Isa. 55:12). It’s a passage that reminds us of the promises of what is to come, that in times of trial we are to hold to the truth that everything will be well in the end. Better than well, God is powerful and he plans to make things as perfect and peaceful as he intended them to be.
So if this has been a bad year for you, a long winter of the soul or body, I hope you take the time to appreciate the music of the natural world this summer. Listen for the buzz of the hummingbird and the huge sound a little squirrel can make because in the end, everything’s gonna be alright. So go outside and don’t feel guilty you’re not working, you’re too busy experiencing a little piece of heaven instead.