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Just Outside

“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.” Proverbs 19:2 ESV


At the crest of the hill before descending the road to our place lies this parcel with the view of Dale Hollow lake. This beauty lay concealed for the first nearly two decades we have had residence here. But man exercising his limited dominion through selective clearing yielded this vista, just a year or so back.


Naught but a few steps from my front porch this is available anytime, but I especially love to avail myself of it at sunset. The owner does not begrudge the occasional visitor. Truthfully, I’ve never met him, which drives my observation. I do not know how many times he has beheld this spectacle, but I likely 20+ times. It is free for the short trek. Almost everyone who sees this comments on how desirable it is, as if possession somehow enhances the experience. Truthfully, when at some point it changes hands someone will build on it and the serendipity of just availing oneself of this quiet and unspoiled beauty will be displaced.


But for today it was free for the viewing. Taking in a sunset has a quiet majesty. We are right at the summer solstice, where the sun sets as far north on the horizon as possible. By the winter solstice it will set at the southernmost (left side) portion of the lake visible in the photograph, a mute testimony to the rhythm and transformation of the seasons.


Zooming in on the center of the picture there is a black dot mid lake, a kayaker took 15 minutes to traverse the widest portion of the water. Meanwhile inboard cruisers with their deep concussive drone and fishing boats with powerful outboards perched high astern whined a more shrill note, bows slapping pop pop pop against waves, waves made by other boats, for this evening had but the gentlest of cool breeze from my back wafting to the water hardly a ripple making.


I don’t begrudge the power boats. At my age I’m much more likely to use them. But I readily acknowledge the serenity and beauty of the kayak wending it’s way after the others have long passed, it’s rower likely embracing the beauty as was I perched high above.


Then closer at hand there was a tickle at my shin, no not a tick, of which there are aplenty, but a blade of grass having tasseled out in seed and just grazing my leg. As I sauntered back home, the lightning bugs were just lifting from their lairs in the grasses in their delightful blinking courtship flickers.


Walking back I noted the other houses, one particularly imposing itself onto the landscape, not inherently unattractive but neither was it integrated into the landscape as were the others. Possession has with it some privilege, but just being and taking the time to enjoy, then reflect is free to all.


God’s beauty. Naught but a few steps from my front door.

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Thank you for taking me on that walk! Beautiful and peaceful, brother!

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