We recently updated some wall hangings in our living room. A few weeks later, I realized that one of the new pictures reminds me of a line of children’s poetry I’d recently read with my kids: The little cares that fretted me, I lost them yesterday / Among the fields above the sea, among the winds at play.
The poem is called Out in the Fields with God. I love the imagery, and I think the words are true. This is one reason I love being out in nature: perspective changes and worries seem to evaporate.
Nearly every day lately, I have been leaving my cell phone on the kitchen counter and stepping outside to enjoy some nature behind our house. We live in typical suburban sprawl, but there’s a rail trail behind our house that is shrouded with trees and brush, and feels remote, even though it’s in the middle of suburbia.
Sometimes, I can only sneak a few minutes out there on the trail, but it’s always a transformative time for me. I feel lighter when I come back home.
Immersing myself in beautiful nature and setting my sights on God’s creation, both near and far—everything from intricate leaf patterns and fluttering insects to cranberry-colored sunsets and glimmering constellations—certainly helps to clear my mind and give perspective on my “little cares.”
Life is hectic and noisy and busy. My kids don’t get on a school bus and leave the house for seven hours a day. I’m glad for that. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy, either.
A friend who recently started homeschooling, after having her kids in public school for four years, told me, “The hardest adjustment is how messy my house is, constantly. I was used to having my house quiet and just-so. Now it’s not that way anymore.”
Walking in nature for a few moments means taking a break from the constant din and allowing myself the luxury of being enveloped with beauty and calm.
Of course, I’m lucky. It took me about ten years before I reached the point where I felt I could sneak out of my house. So, if you’re still at a point where your oldest child is only five and you can’t do that, I understand! It will get better. I know it’s really hard. When you load up the stroller to go outside, it’s just not as carefree and not quite a “break” in the same way! But you will get to this point, too. Hang in there!
Lately, the skies have been incredible. This picture, with a shadowy, grainy-looking child is of my daughter Clara. I snagged her after her piano practice was finished. We took a quick walk, chasing daylight. The evening shadows lengthened as we walked. From the house, I could faintly hear dinner-prep responsibilities calling my name. But we walked on.
The picture can only capture part of the glory. Isn’t this sunset mesmerizing? (No editing was done to this quick iPhone snapshot.) I could hardly take my eyes off of it.
Being “out in the fields with God” makes me realize that God is the best artist of all. Man’s attempts to capture beauty in human art are but a shadow of the real thing, manifested in God’s creation.
After our walk, we ignored the dinner-prep cries a little longer and sat on a bench together in our driveway. It was good to linger in this moment. Our cares seemed as far away as the clouds in this glorious sky.
Photo Credit: First image graphic design by Charity Klicka; second image by Amy Koons.