Whenever I see a field of yucca plants in bloom this time of year it always reminds me of a marching band, each member stepping out in a tall hat with a plume on the front. Yucca plants thrive in dry climates and are drought-resistant, so unlike the wildflowers that would have preferred a rainier May, they are in their glory now in Colorado. Walking through Rampart Park near my house is like being at a band festival, with competing groups marching in every direction!
Yet on these competition fields a smattering of wildflowers has dared to pop up. Three years ago when we moved to our neighborhood we had experienced a very wet spring, and the fields of wildflowers were breathtaking. This year I’m delighted with the occasional Indian paintbrush, cinquefoil, or wild penstemon.
I know physical trainers advise clients to vary their workout routines, and many people besides Robert Frost extol the road less traveled, yet I think there is something to be said for taking the same walk through all seasons year after year. Doing so establishes a rhythm to our life on earth—and the heavenly delights we encounter along the way will always vary.
Now that summer is in full bloom, my almost daily walks through Rampart Park provide both the stability of the familiar route and the excitement of change. Which dogs will be at the dog park today, and will the dachshund and the German shepherd get along better today than yesterday? Has the black-tailed weasel returned to his hole by the sidewalk?
Baby rabbits hop away from my footsteps in every direction, pausing at the edge of their thickets as if daring me to see them before they dart inside. I love that they have a safe place to abide when the dogs come by (sadly some not leashed by their owners), and I’m reminded of John 15:5 where we are encouraged to abide in Christ and trust only in Him for our safety.
As I walk I can gaze across the valley to a neighborhood on the mountainside where I know a family I dearly love is stirring and getting ready for their day, and I send a prayer their way. I can check out the snow melt on Pikes Peak and watch for approaching storms. I can greet the neighbors and strangers I meet and exchange pleasantries to brighten my day and theirs.
But most of all, as I walk I can praise God for the glorious creation around me, and for my physical ability to walk through it and enjoy it. I promise Him I will never take my walks for granted, because I know too many people unable to enjoy such simple satisfaction. Maybe I stick to the same route, but every walk is different. And I am grateful. Strike up the band!
Like several bloggers I follow, I’m slowing my pace this summer. I’m hoping for one post a month, with a promise to step it up in the fall.