by Sherie Heine, Assistant to the Bishop 7/24/2015
As you can imagine, I spend a fair amount of time in my car traveling around our synod. In the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to travel (from Minot) to Grenora, to Ashley, to the Turtle Mountains, to Dickinson, and numerous other points in between. Lots of miles… I know. It is an adventure to spend time roving the countryside on well-traveled and not-so-well-traveled roads. Mile after mile… hour by hour… To be able to gaze upon the beauty of this place we call home… it is a gift!
Each and every time I back out of my garage I’m eager to see just what it is I might see. I’ve learned that even on roads I travel often there is nearly always something new to see. Sometimes, the new is not really new. Rather, whatever it might be had simply not caught my eye before. Perhaps the body of an old vehicle – its rusty color blending in with the leafless trees… Sometimes, the new is genuinely new. A structure perhaps – a building or drilling rig… Interesting to catch a glimpse of as I motor on.
But… There are times when I yearn to pull over to the side of the road and just behold the beauty of that particular place at that particular time. The incredible beauty of this prairie place we call home – it seems, at times, no words of description can paint an adequate picture. The sheer splendor of this bit of God’s creation often takes my breath away and never ceases to amaze me!
The ever-changing tapestry…
Of the sky… Its brilliant shade of blue with billowing white clouds that in a just few minutes (or a few miles) might become gun-metal gray with ominous rolling black thunderheads.
Of the land… Its gently rolling hills offering an array of greens dotted with grazing cattle or the kaleidoscope of colors on display – courtesy of the sunny yellow blossoms of canola or the lavender-blue of blooming flax or the burnished gold of a ripening field of grain.
Of the water… smooth as glass – with not a whisper of a ripple – reflecting the sun and dotted with fishing boats in the early morning or the angry green-gray when riled by the wind with continuous waves of white caps.
Of the wildlife… of the weather…
This corner of God’s creation – western North Dakota – is a feast for the eyes! I’m thankful for the windshield time and for each bend or rise in the road. I’m thankful for the ever-changing landscape of the prairie. Quite frankly, I am in awe of the splendor of this place I call home.
(Interested in a really good book about the prairie? Check out “If You’re Not from the Prairie…” a picture book by David Bouchard.)