The Quaking Aspen is my favorite tree. The leaves are large for their delicate stems which make for the most awe-inspiring experience when the wind blows. It can be absolutely still, silent until a gentle breeze picks up and then you are treated to the sound of a mountain full of gently clapping leaves. There have been years when I just lay on the ground and recorded the silence only to capture the sound of the leaves begin their applause. It seems like praise. It lifts my spirit to hear it, and every time I do, I think of the verse, “And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands, and Lord Jehovah shall be praised.”
I don’t think it’s a coincidence; I’m sure God planned it. On his way to the city before his death, Jesus told the Pharisees that if the people stopped praising him, the very rocks would cry out. That’s the way I feel when I go into the wilderness. I think about how amazing the earth and everything in it is, and I marvel at His design. I find it absurd to believe that all of this happened by chance. Everything about it screams intelligent design- intention.
Perhaps moving away from the agrarian society we once were has hindered our ability to look at life through eyes of wonder. It’s almost like when you eat fruit flavored candy or canned peaches in syrup; the real thing is spoiled for you. It takes time to learn to appreciate the fruit in its natural state again. I love taking time to simply enjoy nature. I’m sure Rat, from The Wind In The Willows, would agree with me. “There’s nothing like messing about in boats,” he told Mole while introducing the underground creature to the wonders of river life. I agree. Taking a canoe out on a still lake at dawn where the only ripples are the ones made by your oars and the jumping fish is amazing. Each sniffle or cough echoes across the water, but you dare not whisper and break the peace, as you watch the mist rising slowly off the surface as the morning sun burns it away from the top in the warmth of daybreak. There’s something about silence that calms the soul, and something about applauding leaves that thrills it.
Isaiah 55:12 “You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
Luke 19:40 “I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.”