The bare-ing trees sigh and sway with the weight of
winter coming. Stripped clean of life,
they seem to know in their spindly bones
a far greater glory awaits them, if
they hunker down and weather the blessing
of cold, clean rest.
Winter is coming, and it is a welcome reprieve
from the world.
The robins and I
each other, as if neither were a surprise
but simply the intertwining
of the world.
The river birch struggles
above us, a victim of last year’s
This is not a surprise, either.
The world is harsh,
The Lord God made them all.
Those two lines were penned by James Herriot, beloved English veterinarian and author of so many books I loved especially in childhood.
Today is Earth Day.
Nature deeply inspires the novels and poetry I write, and with good reason. Creation is full of the inexpressible wonder of the Lord.
Some of my favorite authors are fellow nature lovers…Barbara Kingsolver (a fellow alumni!), Annie Dillard, Wallace Stegner, Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, Gene Stratton Porter (a fellow Hoosier author!), Beatrix Potter, Sigurd F. Olson, Thoreau, Whitman, Emerson, and the list goes on and on.
The current novel I’m working to finish is no different, and it may pull in the most nature to date. Set in southern Indiana, I’ve drawn upon waterfalls and spring time, red tail hawks and box turtles, orphaned rabbits and so much more.
When all the world is chaos, we need only to look at the miracle of spring, the joy of a fawn grazing alongside its mother in a hazy field at dawn, the call of a mourning dove perched on a weathered fence.
Ponder the wonder of the earth today, friends. Take care of it. Not for politics. But for the simple fact that it is a gift from our Creator.