Today, we all went on a hike together to a place down the Rim called See Canyon. We took a forest road until it ended and than went on a short hike up the canyon. The trees were in different stages of fall, with the leaves gold, brown, orange, pink and red. I have seen many leaves in my days, but this is the first time that I have ever seen pink ones. We hiked through all the beauty and came to a stream that was flowing back toward civilization.
The girls had a wonderful time playing in the stream and splashing in the water, and watching the leaves travel away with the rushing current. John and Josh went on a hike further up the mountain and up the canyon. The girls were content to chase the leaves by the stream and to walk in that one beautiful area of the forest. We stayed quite awhile before calling it a day and driving home. When I got home, I looked up beauty in the scriptures and found this verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time..." I really liked that. If I had seen these leaves, even a month ago, would they have been this beautiful? Yet, at the end of their lives they are so amazing. I hope that the end of my life can be so much better than the beginning. I think that I really struggled with things in the beginning, but I would like to think that I have finally found my way toward the end. I hope that I am much like these leaves that we saw today.
It is said, "Beauty... is the shadow of God on the universe." ~Gabriela Mistral, Desolacíon
That is such an apt description. I know that I feel closer to my Heavenly Father when I am enjoying the beauty that He has placed around me. It is amazing how much beauty there is in the simple things in life. Probably the most amazing part of this journey has been the fact that I would not have experienced it if He had not taken a hand in my journey at this point in my life. A month ago, I was working every night with the fire department in our small town. Things happened internally and they decided to limit the number of shifts we can work. This has been very difficult for my family because it represents a substantial amount of earnings every month. However, I was gone on many evenings and nights and missing all of these possible memory making moments with my family. I think Heavenly Father decided that if I was not going to take care of the problem myself, He would have to do it for me. Now, I only work five nights a month and each day is an additional opportunity to spend with my children enjoying the simple, beautiful things in life. Sometimes, I think we all find it easier to choose the things that we want most today over the things that matter most in the eternities. It is not really that today is more important, it is just that it is more pressing. The demands of today are louder than the promise of eternity. Remember that sometimes it is necessary in your life to take the time to be still. Sometimes, a quiet hike is all it takes to hear the whisper of peace.