Sunday, June 2, 2013
Savoring Butterflies and Flowers
A week ago we took a family vacation to my home state of Ohio. Having a chance to go away is always helpful to gain new perspectives and take advantage of must needed rest from the busy routines of life. We stayed with my third grade teacher, Verna Clifford, in Norton, Ohio which borders my hometown of Barberton. Spending time with her, other friends and family made for a pleasant time away from Texas. We also took time during the week to experience various sights in Ohio. One excursion that stood out was a visit to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.
The Franklin Park Conservatory is a horticultural delight of designed flower gardens and green houses. When we visited they were holding a special feature on butterflies. They had a window display hatchery where you could view the butterflies emerging from their cocoons. Then they had a large green house area of lush flowers with butterflies. This is where we spent most of our time. We each had cameras and were watching the butterflies to see where they would land. Everyone in the green house had the same agenda of taking pictures of the butterflies.
Butterflies must have the highest levels of ADHD of all insects or maybe it is just the nectar. They flit to and fro and when they would land -- just when you were ready to snap a picture off they would fly. It did not help much that there were a few unsupervised girls running around chasing the butterflies. They were not content to watch they wanted to touch the delicate creatures. Thankfully for the butterflies they remained elusive to the annoying trio running through the greenhouse. I was able to obtain a few good pictures while some of the butterflies were resting on plants. I took the time to observe their beautiful designs on their wings. It is amazing in considering how delicate the wings are. It is more amazing that those wings can transport these wonderfully designed creations from Brazil and Mexico up to Ohio. As I was savoring the uniqueness of the butterflies in the created order of nature I also observed the other photographers who gazed at these insects with a sense of wonder.
In this greenhouse there were many flowers to observe and enjoy. We took time to go through several other greenhouses that looked at desert , tropical, and rainforest flowers. We did not have time to cover all the outside gardens but saw quite a few. There were such a variety of flowers to view. From a photography standpoint the flowers are easier as they are not moving away from the camera. But as with the beauty of the butterflies I could not just quickly glance and walk on by. To capture the full beauty of the color and design of the flowers you need to take time to observe and savor the intricate delicate beauty of them. So many colors and shades of colors along with the variety of petal designs.
Taking time for the butterflies and flowers in nature is a relaxing way to spend a day. Absorbing the mind in observing their beauty is a de-stressing activity and you can feel the calmness sweep over your inner being. From time to time in living more than ok I believe everyone should take a day to visit a park, a botanical garden, a nature conservatory and take time to savor nature. It is a positive way to recharge the inner being by literally taking time to “smell the roses”.
Also from my world-view perspective as a Christian it allowed me to have a greater awe filled savoring in my mind about God as Creator. I see the beauty and variety of flowers and can see the artistic mind of God behind them and the butterflies. It is interesting as I was thinking of writing this week on this experience by happenstance, I came across an NPR article about the author, Stephen King. In the interview with National Public Radio, he states on the topic of God, “"I choose to believe it. ... I mean, there's no downside to that. If you say, 'Well, OK, I don't believe in God. There's no evidence of God,' then you're missing the stars in the sky and you're missing the sunrises and sunsets and you're missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together.” That is how I look at it as well. I choose to believe in a Creator God as it makes sense from my observations of the intricacies and complexities of life and nature. I admit it is on faith but a reasoned faith as I look at the created order. I respect the atheist to hold onto their blind faith on the unproven theory of macro-evolution. I often find that those who bark the loudest against those who believe in an Intelligent Designer will act like Darwin proved evolution as a fact. When pressed they often admit they have never even read Darwin’s, The Origin of the Species. I read it and still have it on my bookshelf. It was not convincing to me as he does not prove evolution in the macro sense. It is still a just a theory. I look to the butterflies and the flowers and they seem to be shouting out clearly concerning the Creator God. He is there and not silent.
Reflection: Take a morning or afternoon to enjoy a park or flower garden in your town. What are the flowers and nature saying to you? Stop by a flower and spend a few minutes to observe and savor the experience with all your senses. Does the experience relax and calm you?
Link to interview with Stephen King -- http://www.npr.org/2013/05/28/184827647/stephen-king-on-growing-up-believing-in-god-and-getting-scared