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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Grandma's curiosity

Do you remember who introduced you to the beauties of nature, the marvelous wonder of God's miracles in creation? I do. It was my grandmother from whom I inherited not only a name but also a curiosity about the natural world and its witness to the hand of the Creator.

When I was in grade school, Saturdays held chores. But once these were done, I was on my own. With Grandma's blessing I'd wander the hills of San Francisco, finding bugs, snakes, plants and flowers. She'd always asked me to tell her what I'd seen, not only what it looked like but, in the case of the "critters," what they were doing. Without fully understanding, I was learning how each being has its niche, its perfect place in the divine design.

Grandma also urged me to look beyond the plants and animals, to study the rock and dirt, to read the sky, to feel the wind. I soon discovered the south wind held the smell of rain and fog pushed in behind the westerlies.

On some days I'd bask in the sun's warmth, lying back on the soft grass, looking up at the billowing clouds or down at the city spread out below.

Those childhood memories persist. Decades later I know I'm still God's creature living in a creation that encircles, enfolds, enlivens and enables me to fill my special niche. For this I celebrate Grandma's memory.


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