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Local

Take time to take in the outdoors world

School is about to start. For most people, they either love it or hate it. No matter how you feel though the start of a new school year means one thing – a hectic schedule. Even if you have no kids getting ready to hit the books, it seems like the whole world around you speeds up and everything ratchets up a notch.

Just the other night, my wife and I were feeling the stress. We decided to take a little cruise on the lake and just relax. Our oldest son joined us. We slipped the motor into gear and instead of screaming across the water, we just idled. It is very relaxing to watch the houses go by and hear the waves lap against the hull.

We headed down a part of the lake that Luke thought maybe he had never seen. I was sure that he had been there, but I wanted to appease his curiosity anyway.

The long narrow channel lay before us like a tunnel. The other side was barely visible when we started down this runway-like passage. The overhanging brush and trees closed us in to the point where the sky was barely visible. It truly felt like we had left the world we knew and entered a magical place.

About halfway down, the channel opened up just slightly. Luke noticed it first, “Look.” I saw that he was pointing to his right. The scene that unfolded before me was something only nature can choreograph.

The sun, which was previously blocked from us by thick flora, was shooting a beam of brilliant yellow evening light to the shoreline next to us. It was coming down with the same intensity a spotlight would at a concert. In the midst of this lightshow was an open patch of pristine, mowed, well-kept, grass. The brilliant green was framed by a pair of weeping willow trees that created a natural border. The subject of this portrait was a young eight-point buck in full velvet.

The deer stared at us. It too was curious about what was going on. I felt a little bad that we had just interrupted this deer’s evening meal with my idling motor. Even with this commotion, it didn’t leave.

The intense sunlight lit the reddish-brown coat of this animal to an almost unnatural color. I don’t know if even the most elaborate camera on earth could capture the same richness that was displayed on this lakeshore. It was truly the hand of God that had painted this picture. All the stress of the day melted away in that one instant.

We continued on our way and finished making a loop at the end of that channel and came back. When we made our return trip past that same location, the deer was gone. The majestic rays of sunshine were also absent. The entire scene was still beautiful, but it lacked the same majesty that it did just moments before. That’s how fleeting those moments can be. If you don’t look for them, if you don’t keep your eyes open, you may miss them entirely. For just a moment, I wondered if it had even really happened.

Taking the time to go for a walk, a bike ride, or a simple cruise in a boat, often means that your path will intersect with something from nature that you could never predict. You can’t force it to happen. It just does happen.

All the way back to the dock, a new perspective set it. A perspective that once again aligned the things that are really most important. It is funny how often, as individuals, we need those little moments of therapy. Thank goodness that we have all been blessed with a natural world that is constant, always there, and ready to help us. We just need to take the time to see what is around us.

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