Beauty in the Barren Places

IMG_4739 Sunrise

Sunrise Over The Badlands

Sometimes beauty shows up in the most unexpected places. Barren, desert like landscapes are strangely beautiful when you really start to look closely at them. When the sun rises over them; they are cast in an amazing glow that makes the land take on an entirely different life.

The world takes on a feel of expectation….a waiting to see what the day will bring….a hush that borders on the feel of standing in a holy place.

As I walked through the crunchy half dead grass of the Badlands of South Dakota; I began to notice that this barren looking land was filled with life……blooms and plants that are fragrant and colorful.

Trees cling tenaciously to life in this land and golden yellow flowers bloom with abandon along the Sage Creek roadway. Perhaps it is the contrast of the lifeless looking grass that elevates the blooms of flowers to something so much more than mere patches of color.

The days can be amazingly hot, with a wind that never seems to quit. As we camped on the rim of the badlands, our pop up camper was buffeted by winds that seemed to want to tip us over the edge. The second night my husband actually chained our camper to our pickup for a little extra safety measure!

20170909_174618 Camping on the Edge

Even with the downside of sudden storms and hot dry winds, this land has much to teach us. It teaches us, at least it teaches me, that beauty can be found in the barren spaces. I have learned that if you look closely you will find an abundance of beauty.

That beauty may not be flashy or showy, but it is abundant. The sage gives off a wonderful aroma if you happen to step on it and the sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful I have seen.

IMG_4237 the Badlands

I am hoping that if you are stuck, waiting in a barren place, that there is one small patch of beauty  to be found. A place for you to rest your heart and feed your soul. May you take delight in a sunrise or sunset….and may it cast a wonderful glow over the barren spaces.

IMG_4732 Day's End

Sunset Over The Badlands

 

 

“The desert,
when the sun comes up…
I couldn’t tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began.” 

― Tom Hanks

 

I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought.
Hosea 13:5

More Than Fishing

IMG_3977 Fishing the Little Rock

Little Rock River

The weather was really nice a couple days ago so my husband and I decided we should try fishing on our bit of the river that night.  There is a sandbar that is a great place to sit and fish…..or contemplate life.

To get to the sandbar; we had to slither our way down the bank through head high weeds, saplings, and fallen tree branches. It was kind of a trick getting down there while holding a fishing pole, bucket (to sit on), and having my camera slung around my shoulders.

We did make it, and it was great once we were down there. It was quiet, except for the birds singing, a beaver crawling around behind a tree on the opposite bank and the sound of water rippling over rocks….a perfect evening to sit with a line in the water.

IMG_3972 Beaver Hideout

We were kind of worried that we would get eaten alive by mosquitoes, so we each took our choice of spray. I whipped up an essential oils spray that I wanted to try. I will share the recipe because I really like it and it worked for me.

Spray
10 drops Geranium EO
15 drops Lavender EO
5 drops Patchouli EO
10 drops Lemongrass EO
10 drops Citronella EO
2 oz. Witch Hazel
2 oz. water
Put Witch Hazel in 4 ounce spray bottle
Add EO’s (Essential Oils)
Add water 

I found it worked wonderfully for me. I have yet to convince my husband it would work so he continues to use his chemical-laden spray. Someday I will convince him!

Anyway…..back to fishing…….

IMG_3974 My Zebco 33

We stayed out there for a couple hours. I regret to report that all I caught was a corn stalk, two sticks and a bush on the bank. I am so glad I don’t have to survive off my catch!  My husband did have a few nibbles but nothing that really grabbed the bait and latched on.

I have a feeling it might be due to the really low water levels in the river. The water is so shallow you could see to the bottom most places. We were hoping that would enable us to see the fish swimming along….no go on that one.

I did find some pretty weeds flowers along the bank. They were such a beautiful shade of purple that I could not resist taking a picture of them. I must admit, I find it hard not to take pictures of most flowers.

IMG_3975 Pretty

I have no idea what kind of plant that is but the blooms were really delicate and so pretty.

There is something so peaceful about sitting by the river’s edge. It might be the way the wind blows through the tree tops and sets the leaves to rustling. It might be the birds twittering in the trees and settling in for the night. Maybe it is the fact you can watch a young beaver swim silently along the bank, leaving a wake in the water behind him. It might be the sound of the water rippling over the rocks and sparkling in the last of the evening light.

I do know that it is a great place to be. It is a great place to reflect and slow down the pace of life. As we came up the bank and out of the trees we were greeted with a beautiful sunset. It was the most perfect way to cap off the day.

IMG_3979 End of Day

This weekend may you find a place, hidden away from the world, that you can stop, reflect and slow down just a bit and feel the blessing.

“Many men go fishing all their lives
without knowing 
it’s not the fish they are after.”
Henry David Thoreau