Saturday, April 10, 2010

Finding the Extraordinary

Life moves quickly. We can type a question into a search engine on the internet and seconds later, thousands of answers spill onto our computer screens.

We travel down a highway at 65 miles per hour. But do we see the beauty around us?

I find my perspective changes during wheat harvest. We don't have semis to take the grain to the co-op. I climb into a smaller farm truck, and instead of zipping down the Zenith blacktop at my normal, brisk clip, I must motor along at 30 mph or so.

It happened again the other day when I was helping with cattle. I was waiting on Randy & Jake to load up the 4-wheeler and I began wandering around the old farmstead.

When I slow down, I see things in a whole new way. At that slower pace, I see things I never really "see."

I think we can find extraordinary beauty in ordinary things.

Many days, I'll look at an old barn or shed and just see ramshackle remnants. The barn that was a bright shade of red has now faded, much like a strawberry blonde whose locks are turning silver gray.

But, if I really look, will I still see the beauty? Will I recognize that these glimpses of a day gone by tell a story?

A farmer pushed the handle on that door to the shed and used his callused hands and tools to repair his machinery.

Once upon a time, the old barn provided shelter for a farm family's horses and cattle. Back then, the family probably had a milk cow or two to provide sustenance for the family. They couldn't run to the grocery store for a last-minute loaf of bread or a takeout order from the deli.

(See the cross lit by the morning light in this shot?)

The children found their recreation in a hay loft, not in front of a television. They played cowboys and Indians instead of Star Wars. They played house and made mud pies decorated with cottonwood puffs.

Even though the roof leaks and the glory days of the old barns are long past, we still use them to shelter heifers and their new babies from frigid wintertime temperatures. Like a pair of well-worn jeans with holes and patches, the barn still "fits" like a glove when called into service.

Am I saying we should go backwards and return to pioneer times? No, I like my computer, digital camera and all my modern conveniences way too much.

But I do think we can look at little harder at the things around us. And I think we can find extraordinary beauty in the ordinary things. That's my prayer for you today!

(Photo by Brent)


  1. I know I tend to overlook things. I need to look a little closer. Riding my bike does that for me. The road doesn't go by quite so quickly! I'm feeling the need to go for a spin!

  2. Enjoy! Other than the wind, it's another beautiful day in Kansas! But would it be Kansas without it?!