Marvel and Wonder

The other day, while driving to the gym, I noticed something ahead of me, a ways off in the distance. It was only a peek of something, white, and perhaps round in shape, but mostly surmounted by a jagged line of glorious purple mountains. I was mostly focused on those mountains. It had been one of those typical Orange County days; you know, warm, clear, and perfect — the kind that makes everyone else not living in Southern California weep with covetous despondency. Yeah, we pay for it, though.

It was twilight about now and the sky was preparing for bed, trading its pretty blue dress for slate pajamas. While minding the other vehicles, I continued to flick my gaze toward that white something, but my eyes wouldn’t have it. It was simply too far and too small. Likely a water-tank, I told myself, and left it at that. A few minutes later I approached a bend in the freeway, not even a 20 degree shift, and there it was: not a water-tank.

I couldn’t help myself, I actually cried out “MOON!!” Then my eyes filled with tears.

And here’s why.

A minute later, it looked like this:

Those mountains, the ones I had only moments ago claimed as glorious, were all but forgotten — bland wallpaper in comparison the luminous orb ascending into the sky. My breath was taken.

For the remainder of the drive, I continued to fawn over the sheer beauty, newly amazed that its enormity and resplendence was only fraction of what it would look like from space. I turned off the music and let beauty’s song play its soundtrack.

Not before long, something occurred to me: While I had grown quite competent of appreciating the little things, the simple pleasures and humble beauty life has to offer, I had grown less and less expectant of the extravagant and extraordinary. I believe this stems from a determination not to undermine or undervalue anything; I see beauty everywhere, in mundane things and flawed people. The alluring can be found just so long as we’re willing to look for it. The Creator’s hand isn’t absent from a single blade of grass, nor is removed from the aged oak tree. He is artisan and His integrity shows itself even in the unassuming.

However . . .

I’m quite certain He didn’t go about constructing this world in indifference, either, or with a lackadaisical spirit. Think about a time where you labored over a gift for someone you care deeply for. Did you squeeze it in during a lunch break? Finish up the project last minute? No, of course not. You took your time, your goal being to present something no less than perfect. This, too, was His design.

My small mind can barely contain the Great wisdom and knowledge God’s possesses, but I like to believe that as He went about designing the place His children would inhabit, He relished the opportunity to create us a something we could delight in. More importantly, and I believe this with every atom culminating to make up my being, God is an enthusiast. He wants us to marvel! His hope is to fill us with a sense of wonder and intrigue.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a few pictures with you. I received this e-mail the other day and, while my first thought had been to share just one or two, I quickly found myself stressed over trying to decide which one was “The One.”

I hope you enjoy these shots. Moreover, I hope you find yourself struck with marvel and wonder.


Grand Canyon Scenery


45 thoughts on “Marvel and Wonder

  1. Well for some reason the e-mail you shared isn’t showing up all I see are little boxes down the left side of the page. Great post, beautiful pictures. Excellent point that we have to find beauty in the small “mundane” things as well…the more obvious things like seeing the moon as you did, we have to love and appreciate them all the same. I too believe that He created this world for us to enjoy, truly it could be quit dull but it isn’t and we are meant to take joy in His creations. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Oh, how disappointing! 😦 I believe this prohibiting is likely due to hardware installed on your computer designed to prevent your system from incurring viruses. I know you can disable the feature — usually something pops up at the top of the screen — but I’m not sure how it works . . . It could be because you’re viewing the post from Blogspot? If you want to see the pictures, I would be more than happy to send you the e-mail 🙂 I understand, though, if you would rather not give out your e-mail address!

      Thanks for reading, DeAnn 🙂

  2. Well for whatever reason, I couldn’t get the rest of your pictures. But the moon pictures in your post are just stunning. I have always wanted to see the moon or a setting sun that looks that big. I can remember being in Tennesee one fall and literally gasping at how beautiful and vibrant the colors of the trees were. We have all seen the changing colors, but this was indescribable. It would literally just take your breath away. Just stunning! God is an amazing artist! What treats He gives us daily!

  3. Cara,
    There is an error in your photos here. I have tried on 2 different browsers and my settings are very liberal. Can you save the images to your computer and simply paste as a gallery here? I am now very curious. Did you take that shot of the moon (the closeup)?

    • I know . . . *sigh* I’m working on it right now. Or rather, he who is skilled at technical difficulties is working on it. I’ll send out an update post to let people know that the problems been resolved. Sorry about that!

      You tempt me, but I must admit I did not take that picture. Oh, how I wish I did; however, I might not have lived to see how it turned out, as I was driving. 🙂

  4. beautiful photos. all of them. i am constantly amazed at the creation that we are privileged to see all around us. i particularly liked the nearly transparent bug

  5. Those are truly soul stirring images, Cara! God’s amazing canvas, created to delight and inspire His children. 🙂

    Peace and Blessings!


  6. I found myself holding my breath as I was reading your story and viewing your moon photographs. You are right, every day is filled with new wonders from the simple to the grandiose. We are blessed!

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  7. Your dad does indeed find beautiful images! I saw the owl in the first post. It’s breathtaking. Those owls fascinate me!

  8. Your moon pictures are amazing! As well as your writing! My husband and I were in the hot tub last night as the full moon rose out from behind our neighboring mountains. I considered running for the camera, but I knew the magic would be gone by the time I made it back. Such a simple, spontaneous, romantic moment for us. Makes me remember how blessed I really am.

    • Thank you, Beth! Sounds like you and your husband had the perfect evening together. I think you made a good call by staying put and enjoying the moment with the one who means most to you. 🙂

  9. Thanks, Cara, for not editing out ANY of those pictures. I know I’m late to the party, but what a great way to start my Sunday!

    I lived in So. Cal. waaaaay back, but will never forget one night at the top of Mt. Baldy. A clear, cool night and so many stars. I think I could have stayed there all night. The view was a gift for my soul.

    • Sweet Gloria,

      I am so glad you found something special in each and every one of them. I did, too — obviously. And thank you for letting me know how much you appreciated my not editing any out; it took quite a long time to put this post together, mostly due to the size image files and making sure everything was alignment. It always makes effort and energy put forth worth it when someone expresses what delight they received.

      Hope your Sunday was Wonderful! 🙂

  10. Nature is surely grandiose in its many ways. And it does come in many shapes and forms. Your photos of the moon are gorgeous, in particular I like the first one, although seeing the moon’s craters close up is quite astonishing, too.

    • Grandiose is a wonderful word-choice.
      The moon pictures were among my favorite as well, in that they inspired the post in the first place. Moreover, there is something magnificent and magical about the milky pendant that hangs in the sky. Whether it’s slivered, halfed, or full, when I look up and find her shining above me, I can’t help but smile.

      Thanks for coming by 🙂

    • Me, too. Sometimes I just stop and stare like a dummy in the middle of the street.
      You skipped the content, didn’t you? There’s no way you read my whole post. I know this because I am still over on your page, reading one of thee most clever rants I have read in a very, very, very long time. Not only am I fan of the moon, but now one of yours as well. 😉

      • and you’re right, i didn’t read the entire post. when i saw the picture of the moon, i skipped to the comments and didn’t read the rest. my bad, but i did go back and finish.

        did you make that banner yourself? that looks terrific!

      • No harm done. Your honesty earned you another badge. You’re accumulating them quickly. Clever (check) Honest (check)

        Thanks for reading the rest. A writer can’t help but feel a little cheapened when readers don’t read. 😉

        Thank you. I didn’t make the banner, no . . . My husband is a ridiculously talented graphic artist and he put that together.

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