As I write this, Keith and I are driving from Fargo to St. Louis, a trip which is taking us south with the Mississippi through the center of the country. We drove out of the town which was slowly clawing it's way out of winter. It kept on slipping back.
Iowa had made more progress. It had a foot firmly placed in the door of spring and a few farmers were beginning to plant their fields.
Missouri had flung the door of spring wide open with its colorful flowers and blossoming trees.
One of my absolute favorite things about road trips has always been watching out the window to see God's handiwork change. Sometimes the change would be dramatic, such as traveling west across North Dakota into the badlands or from the peaks of the Rockies onto the flat prairies below. But most are subtle. The gradual change of vegetation, or the slow from utter flatness to the gentle rhythm of traveling over low rolling hills.
It will come to no surprise to those who know me that this is one of my favorite scriptures:
Doctrine and Covenants 59:18-20
Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul.
And it pleaseth God that he hath given all these things unto man; for unto this end were they made to be used, with judgement, not to excess, neither by extortion.
God intended us to fully enjoy, not simply use, his creations. I want my children to know the simple joys of breathing fresh air as they explore open places and forests, watch small bugs in the grass, hear the magical sounds of birds, and feel cool mud squish between their toes. I want them to delight in nature's wonders, as I do. God saw fit to preserve my life on Earth day three years ago and I am going to do my best to live it fully; not just for my sake but for that of my dear children. They deserve nothing less.