Painted With Life

Spring is often considered the time of renewal. Aside from celebrating Easter, this is the time that people throw out old things and clean and reorganize and plant and paint and generally try to make everything look new again. The urge is not man-made. Mother Nature gave us the model for spring cleaning with the coming of spring and the wonderful beauty it engenders in the world. Trees sprout new leaves and branches, flowers bloom, bushes grow, and everywhere nature reigns is draped in green. One would be hard pressed to find a better example of nature’s spring splendor than the Texas bluebonnet fields along the roads of the hill country.

I have no green thumb—I would be challenged to keep a silk flower blooming—and I am still trying to figure out what to plant in our front garden and I have a hard time keeping the grass a consistent shade of green, but I know what I like to see. Driving along the back roads between Katy and Hempstead Texas there are any number of small ranches and pastures filled with wildflowers blooming in bright yellow, orange, red and purple. But they pale next to the sheer spread of Bluebonnets that dominate the land. Spring has sprung and has leaked all over the hillsides. It is exceedingly difficult to look in any direction without seeing the flowers covering the rolling hills making them seem almost like rolling waves of the ocean.

Today, most people drive along the highways and freeways at 70 miles per hour (honest officer, the speedometer said 70…I’m sure) so fast that it is almost impossible to appreciate the beauty of our land. Not to mention that in most cases, in order to build that 4-lane divided freeway, they probably tore up a lot of the natural beauty that had been there. But along the older 2-lane roads off the highway, there is still a lot of historic land with old trees flanking small creeks with colorful flora dotting the ground making a vista worthy of a painting.

Today, Michelle and I took about 2 hours out of a busy day and drove out along that road. We saw houses that were old in the 1950s still sitting amid the same grove of trees and the residents still looking at the same pastures full of wildflowers every spring. Bicyclists rode along the shoulder and many stopped to admire the scenic beauty. Motorcyclists rumbled down the road and several cars followed, taking time to pull over and take pictures of the fields. One person was taking pictures of a young couple laying and embracing in the bluebonnets. Dogs ran and played and children stopped to pick flowers.

The sad fact is that the blooms will fall off all too soon and many of us will have missed the opportunity to see nature’s splendor and appreciate God’s creation when he decides to paint with life. If you have a few minutes, take them and drive slowly along the old roads that run between the small towns. Take in the natural beauty while it is there.

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