Windows are wonderful contraptions, protecting us from annoying insects and uncomfortable temperatures, and yet allowing us a bit of an opening to something beyond our own self-made environments. When I say “the windows in our living room,” I don’t mean living room like your mother meant it—you know the one—that beautiful parlor with damask-dressed windows, silk flowers in crystal vases, porcelain figurines and the stiff but quite lovely furniture staged for guests who might drop in. No, we really live in our living room, and those magnificent undressed windows are my opening to the hills and to splendid daytime and nighttime skies.
As I peered through those windows yesterday morning, something out of the ordinary across the valley caught my eye. When I couldn’t make it out, I reached for the binoculars, which are always handy in case I hear a red-tailed hawk or catch a glimpse of a wild turkey or the family of otters that live in the pond below. I focused on what looked like a florist-delivered, perfectly-shaped nosegay of white flowers standing tall on the pond damn. Curiosity got the best of me, so the next thing I grabbed was my walking stick and started across the valley.
There it was, this four-foot nosegay or a tussie-mussie growing all by itself out of the parched August earth. If you aren’t familiar with those Victorian terms, nosegays or tussie-mussies are small flower bouquets that usually smell sweet and are given as gifts. I call that flowering plant a nosegay because it was such a gift to me. It swayed in the breezes, just doing what God designed it to do, blooming and reaching tall for the sunshine, its roots probably gasping for water. It gave no thought to its beauty or that it stood all alone. It just did, and it blossomed and made me smile and have such a sense of peace.
Wouldn’t it be something if we were all like that nosegay of white blossoms? Not questioning why we are where we are, not complaining that we’re struggling, not trying to be something we’re not—instead, just doing what God designed us to do, and hopefully spreading a bit of the fragrance of grace and joy and hope day by day.