Awaken to Wonder

by Melissa Taft
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guest poem and photo by Monique Watt Heintzman, with permission, originally posted on Faith Today

Take a walk in the woods,
where life surges and recedes through the seasons like waves on the shore,
where new treasures await your discovery everyday.

Walk regularly, paying attention –
to the light, to the smells, to the sounds,
to what has changed, to what is the same,
and marvel at the beauty that greets you.

Wonder why.
Wonder how.

Consider a leaf.
Ponder its life cycle through the seasons.

Notice tree trunks’ bark –
some smooth looking and to the touch,
others thick and rough,
protecting their precious core like armour.
Observe their form –
their straightness or crookedness,
their scars and tumours.

Each one has a story to tell –
just like you and me.

Gaze upwards at tree branches
reaching heavenward in praise and thanksgiving.

Slow down and contemplate the rocks –
how even these hard, solid ones wear, soften and crumble over time,
becoming pebbles and sand under your feet.

Notice the heart-shaped hoof prints that accompany you along the path.
Let your thoughts meander and wonder where the deer went,
and how the bears know when to hibernate,
or the birds know where to migrate.

Perceive how your definition of beauty expands and changes through the seasons,
how it’s not only the colourful blossoms of spring and summer,
or the rhapsody of autumn leaves that are beautiful –
there’s beauty too in the dying and in the letting go,
and in the crunch of your boots on the snow.

Feel your heart swell with gratitude and joy,
and praise your Creator God,
the Divine Artist whose fingerprints are everywhere!

Monique Heintzman lives in Chelsea, Quebec, Canada with her husband and teenage daughter.   She is a homemaker, contemplative photographer, writer of poetry, and an avid walker.  Monique is passionate about the beauty of God’s Creation and delights in trying to capture and share glimpses of it through photos and poetry in the hope the others will fall in love with God and Creation.  She and her husband also volunteer with A Rocha Canada hosting Christian environmental stewardship outdoor activities and learning events from their home in Gatineau Park. 

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