Friday, May 30, 2014

Becoming Better Noticers

These gorgeous plants and flowers are growing in our yard -- perennials and a tree loaded with plums. Year after year these beauties just burst into life without any effort from Tom and me. Spring comes and voila! The garden is alive with a riot of color and exotic fragrances, just because the ground was doing what it was created to do through the winter -- preparing for Spring.

I taught an English class to 7th graders years ago. It was Spring trimester, so the garden was coming back to life after a long winter. I asked my students to pick a patch of ground to observe weekly and to record the changes they saw throughout the trimester. I don't remember any earthshaking discoveries made by the students, or any passion for nature this assignment unleashed, but I hope it opened their minds to the wonders that go on around us all the time, whether we're looking or not.

I want to share two videos filmed by Erik Solheim, who probably wasn't even alive when I taught that 7th grade class. But he certainly has a sense of what I was trying to do by my assignment. In the first video he captured a full year of the life of a stand of trees and shows it in just 40 seconds. The second video is a year in two minutes. The first video is impressive, but the second one actually shows the incremental changes through the year, which I found to be stunning.

Much of what God does in our world goes unnoticed until, suddenly (or so it seems) we see the final product. Yet he is constantly at work on our behalf. We just need to become better noticers!

One year in 40 seconds from Eirik Solheim on Vimeo.

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