The days keep getting hotter and hotter. After a long day of sweating and sunburns, it’s so relaxing to take a walk in the evening. Down a dirt road, right when the sun is setting. The weather is warm, but not hot; perfect. You can get the best view of the golden wheat fields that will probably be cut and gone tomorrow. Soon, some of those roads will be lined with beautiful sunflowers. Evening walks down a Kansas dirt road in the summer. Truly a favorite.
When I take these walks, I start thinking. About almost everything. I think about the things I should’ve done today, but I was too tired to accomplish after taking senior pictures all morning whilst being 90 darn degrees. It doesn’t sound like it takes much effort, but this girl was sweating. I think about how I need to appreciate God’s gift that is nature more often than I do. Breathtaking. Way to go, God.
On the road I always walk on, there’s a cemetery where the pavement meets the dirt. I normally try to skedaddle on past as quick as possible without actually running, but this time was different. I found myself wanting to pray for the families of each person in that cemetery. It was strange. I don’t enjoy cemeteries. Can’t say I know many people that do. I didn’t feel afraid of it though. I just felt like I needed to pray over it.
As I walked passed and out into the country, I found myself thinking less of the worries or the mini-fails from that day. I just kept thanking God for his beauty. In no way do I want to brag about “oh I just love to pray all the time!” No, that’s not what this is. This is me learning to be more grateful. This is me sharing my joy with you. This is me realizing that there is so much beauty. More than normal.
I smelled something that smelled like spring, and when I looked up I saw a pretty little tree with pretty little purple flowers. I saw a combine cutting for the first night of harvest. I felt a pang of jealousy and wanting to be apart of harvest this year. Then I just stared at the pretty, tall, ripe wheat next to me, and I was happy I didn’t have to be sitting in a tractor for a weeks. I would’ve complained eventually. I had the freedom to just enjoy the wheats beauty at eye level. Over that wheat, I watched a Kansas sunset. Iconic. I saw (and accidentally scared) a few deer (which also scared me until I realized what it was (it was getting dark, okay)). Then I kept seeing fireflies, which I have always loved. I enjoyed all of this while walking only half a mile down that dirt road with perfect weather.
I completely understand that after a long day of working or doing what you do, sometimes you just want to plop and plant yourself on the couch in front of The Office, scroll through Twitter or Pinterest, and sip on a cold beverage of your choice. After too many nights of doing this, I needed to get out and enjoy some good old fashioned nature. Sometimes a walk sounds like just about the last thing you desire to do, second only to running. Then you get going and you think. You’ll find yourself longing to stay just a few more minutes, but you know it’s time to get back home because you can no longer see anything.
I didn’t realize it until I took this walk, but being in nature is one of the ways that I draw nearer to God. I feel humbled by His works. In awe of all His masterpieces. Loved by the One that made all of it around me.
Even if you’re exhausted from a hot day, I recommend taking an evening walk. Even if you don’t every night. It’s uplifting while calming. Escape your troubling thoughts and replace them with the new joyful thoughts. Reconnect with our Savior. You won’t be disappointed.
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.”
Psalm 96: 11-12