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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Living in Paradise…

A few years ago, Carol and I moved to the sand dunes here in Bridgman and as near the lake as we could afford. Some of our most enjoyable times are spent hiking through Weko Beach and the Warren Dunes State Park.

Fall brings an absolutely awesome variety of color, and in the winter we enjoy the broad expanse of the dunes through the barren trees, with an occasional green splash of a hemlock. In the Spring we see wild flowers coming out of the ground to cover the woodlands with a beautiful green carpet interspersed with various blossoms such as Trillium, Dutchmen’s Britches and Columbine. In Summer we limit our hikes in the woods partly because we enjoy the mixture of sunshine and water on the beach, but also to avoid being eaten alive by man-eating mosquitoes.

I’m a native of Southeast Missouri along the Mississippi river. Aside from the theological implications which I don't accept, I grew up thinking that under the skin I was really a reincarnation of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. I still love that river with its raw power at flood stage and its slow, languid power in the hot summer sun. I try to visit it every time I go home.

As a child we lived for a while in Southern California with snow-capped mountains always within view of our home in the warm foothills. On our return to the Midwest I remember visiting the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest of Arizona. Carol and I visited there again a year or so ago.

When we were in Tanzania we lived in the Rift Valley, just east of the Rift Wall near Vilima Vitatu, (literally the “three hills”). These were three small mountains grouped together in such a way that as you approached them from a distance they looked exactly like the Pyramids of Northern Africa. Someday I may tell you of our trip up the mountain road in early spring when a washout on one of the switchbacks seemed perilously close to ending our story before it could be told.

I say all of that to say this: we live in a world of amazing variety and incredible beauty! I've studied some geography and a little geology, and I know many educators can explain every form of terrain by "the Ice Age" or some other geological phenomena. As for me, however, I enjoy thinking about what it must have been like when God created the world. I believe He made every part with loving care. I think when the Bible says that God "saw that it was good" that was probably putting it mildly.

I can imagine when God placed our great lakes here in North America he must have smiled and thought of us—countless generations of people and other living creatures that he knew would enjoy the beauty, variety, and immense wealth of this part of His creation.

I can see Him taking his powerful hands and forming the Andes Mountains in South America, then running his finger down through the continent of Africa and creating the rift valley and the mountains of the wall. I think when he finished one of those big projects he may very well have leaned back and laughed right out loud because He enjoyed it so very much. I can imagine the angels stopped a moment to ooh and aahh every time something new came into existence.

I have traveled more than some and much less than many, but I have seen enough of earth to know that the beauty and variety we see, and the wealth our earth holds must have been put there by God— a person of infinite variety and creativity. He must love us very much to provide such a beautiful home in which to live.

As you can see, I really am convinced God enjoyed creation, but I can’t imagine why he created mosquitoes! Oh yes— bat and bird food. I grouch and complain when they eat me, but my neighbors the bats, say "Thank you Lord for this food."

Rick Blumenberg . . .
And that's my view from Tanner Creek.


Anonymous said...

Hey! I enjoyed the "view". You keep writing, I'll keep reading. From the bootheel, L. & L. Krauss

Rick Blumenberg said...

Thans for stopping by! Since you like it, why not copy the blog address and recommend it to your friends?

Thanks again for the kind words.