“…and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.”

Another week, and more rabbit holes to go down. LOL. There is just so much out there on the world-wide-web. You could literally spend your entire day and not even touch the basics. It is overwhelming. Sometimes I think the internet is not really our friend. Electronics were supposed to ease our lives and make them simpler. I really find they take more time away from us. And sometimes our brains are not operating at their best when we just look at screens all day long.

This is, quite literally, outside my bedroom window. It is our strawberry patch. It is blooming from its winter slumber. Up here in the “Last Frontier,” Spring comes later. But when it comes in, it is glorious. The world slumbers through cold nights and days of increasing sunshine, until things just start popping. You will see a bloom or two on the trees lining the highway, and within days the entire forest is green. The leaves just pop open within 3-4 days of each other. It is pretty amazing how quickly it happens. And up here, Spring is not a long event. We usually hop pretty directly into those wonderful days of open windows, slight breezes, and lots and lots of sunshine. The plants here grow massively large. Flowers bloom over and over again. In rapid succession. We will have days where we have 20 hours of sunshine. For some, it is just too much sunshine. I, myself, prefer sleeping in total darkness. I always have. In CA I used to always wear an eye mask at night. I recall instances when my kids would come and stand next to me while I was sleeping. I could sense their presence. I would wake up and tell them, “Don’t talk to me. I can’t hear you. I have my mask on.” And they would giggle and say, “Mom, it only covers your eyes.” It was our morning funny.

This weekend my daughter-in-law and I did our annual plant hunting trip to the nurseries in the area. She had some trees she was looking for, and I am always on the hunt for perennials that are either full sun or partial shade – no inbetween in my yard! Ha-Ha. And the photo above was taken from the back lot of one of our favorite nurseries. I stood there and commented to her that I never want to take this land we live on for granted. I am blessed with views like this from our local nursery, which means this is a local view for me, too. How incredible is this? It is the Eagle River Valley and it takes your breath away. Look at all that green! There is still a little snow on the peaks, but we are barely past our last thaw and the green popping up. Give it a week or two and it will be green all the way to the top.

The photo above is from the same place, looking west. See all the homes nestled in those trees on the right? Yeah. Glorious place to live. This portion of our state is one of the most blessed. I am lucky to live here.

We spend so much time on our computers or in our cars, or just inside our homes and workplace, that we forget to breathe in the clean air and look at all the beauty that surrounds us. It takes discipline to walk away and walk outside. The temps here are finally getting to the point where a morning walk with the dog will work for me. And I am determined to hike some more trails this summer, and to work on my fitness level (which is severely lacking after a long winter’s slumber – I’m like the bears! LOL!). And right now we are in that phase of Spring where we get some amazing rain storms. The skies look incredible with the many types of storm clouds. And quite suddenly we will have a downpour. The day after a long rain, the plants have blossomed even more. The varied tones of green are incredible. The many wild blooms are starting to peek out from the long winter, too. Every day there is something new to see.

Psalm 65:12 “The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills gird themselves with rejoicing.”

I am trying to get to that place where I can distract myself from media. I know it is affecting my eyes, because distance vision is blurred so often. I read on my phone the usage report and I cringe. I justify it by telling myself, “Well, you don’t watch TV; you don’t use your laptop much, so it’s okay.” But is it? No, it is not. I do not think this much electronic usage is really very healthy. That might be the weirdo in me, but I think life was better when there was more paper and pencil and less of the iPhones and remotes. I get consumed with what is going on out there, and I need to focus closer to my own garden; tend to my own weeds. Both real and rhetorical…see what I did there? Ha-Ha. It’s my Monday!

I love to find flowers with intricate, tiny blossoms. This one above stole my heart. Well, it is purple. Ha-Ha. I was proud of myself this year because I grabbed a lot of other colors. I even bought some Dahlias that are not purple or pink, but actually yellow and one that is coral. I am diversifying the look of my pots and garden! And it is a lot of fun. Planting and potting and helping things grow does so much for our psyche. I think it is good to get away from the living room or desk and drink in some nature.

Tender blossoms need tender care. They need and require attention to survive. I only buy perennials, so they have to be able to stand temperatures of lows into the -40s. So even if these blooms seem delicate, they are pretty hardy plants! And when I see the handiwork of God in these flowers, my heart softens and I can leave the harsh realities of this world behind, even if it is just to water the garden or do some simple weeding.

And so today, as I begin my week in full, I am choosing to focus my energy on the things of beauty in this life. There is enough ugly to fill eternity (down below, where it belongs) that I know the Lord would prefer my thoughts be on Him. And so I am praying; I am tending to my home; I am turning away from my phone and computer and letting the joy of this season encase my heart with joy and peace and God’s love for us all. I will take note of His handiwork that is growing all around me. I intend to enjoy all the sights and sounds of this land He prepared for us. I will focus on creating that “white space” in my home, my yard, my mind, and my soul – allowing me room to grow and maneuver. Giving me the space for God to enter into all things. Clearing the clutter and Spring cleaning is something we all need to do. It is amazing where the cobwebs hide in our lives. Where the clutter in our hearts, minds, and souls resides. We have clutter in our homes and clearing that will also help us clear our lives of the unnecessary. Of the flotsam and jetsam of life. Just like cleaning up those corners where the dust bunnies live! I am still aware and in tune, but not laser focused on all this chaos around us.

There is a distinct advantage to living in the “Last Frontier.” It is quieter. Remote. Insulated to some extent. Fewer people and distractions. Nature all around you. Clean, fresh air. Lots of elbow room. Cooler summer temps. Glorious blooms and sights everywhere. It has helped me in my walk with God, to be able to be more focused. It is sort of forced upon you when the weather is nasty or you live miles from people. It has been so good for my soul. I think I’ll stay. Peace be with each of you in the glory of Spring, and this time of growth and the renewal of life. It is a glorious time to be alive, my friends.


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