Are you like me? Every year I'm so excited for the snow to melt away and then I sit there disappointed because everything is just brown. Brown, brown, brown, brown, brown.
I was thinking about this the other day as I was driving through the very brown hills by my home, when I remembered a scrapbook page I created many years ago (somewhere around 2004) on this very topic. It took a little digging, but I was able to find it. Here it is:
The journaling reads, "Brown. Plain old brown. I used to think it was a boring color. For half of the year our world is brown, but it is anything but plain and ordinary. It is full of texture, patience and its own quiet life. Brown is the color of home."
Reading this reminded me to take a closer look at my surroundings. Appreciate what is right there in front of my eyes. Honestly, it was like getting a swift kick from myself.
I decided that it was time I had an attitude adjustment and actively look for the beauty that is right before my eyes. With no frost or fog and on just a plain ordinary day, I grabbed my camera and went out into the woods...
My first stop was a pond near my home. I've been wanted to photograph these wood duck houses for a long time and today was the day. I was happy to see that I had company. I can honestly say that in the ten years that we've lived here, I've never seen wood ducks in these houses. That doesn't mean that they aren't there, though, as I'm not past there very often. This goose is serving as the Neighborhood Watch while they're away from their nest.
This beautiful pair of mallard ducks lives on the same pond. I didn't even spot the female right away because of her beautiful camouflage.
My next stop was to check on my favorite nest. It's well hidden in the sumac trees during the summer but this time of year it's easy to spot. I wonder if it'll get used again this year. It's been untouched since last fall.
Next, I followed the deer trail through the woods and around our lake.
I just missed seeing this raccoon, who left fresh tracks by the lake. (On a cute side note, we once had a raccoon in the trees and one of our sons' friends thought it was a panda bear!)
I found this leaf, unchanged since autumn, laying on a patch of springtime moss. It was the perfect symbol of my walk, since it felt so much like fall with the cool, damp temperature and brisk wind.
Soon I met a flock of adorable chickadees. They made me feel like Snow White, following me through the woods and singing to me. I thought at first I might be near their nests and they were warning me away, but they seemed to just be curious about me and kept following me along. I was happy for their company.
This birch tree caught my eye. It was broken and covered in woodpecker holes, but still was a beautiful symbol of lakes country.
And then there was this poor tree! The woodpeckers really did a number on this one.
Each winter my husband chops down the trees that have died or are dangerously leaning and here is one pile of his work. I love the owl-shaped log and may have to make something out of that.
I loved all the texture in this woodpile. It's a nice reminder that things do not have to be colorful to be interesting.
At the end of my adventure I was visited by a very symbolic friend. Spring is coming. It may be brown right now, but there is already so much beauty to be seen and enjoyed. I'm glad I gave myself a swift kick and took the time to explore. I hope you take a little time to find the beauty in the world around you, too.
And later that evening...
Sometimes even a brown landscape can surprise you with a shot of color. This sunset felt like a reward for appreciating what was already in front of me and a promise of even better things to come.
I hope this post inspires you to take a little time today to appreciate the quiet and subtle blessings in your life. Maybe the brown days in our life are a reminder to appreciate the ordinary things.