If I told you that I had gone to get my hair done, gotten a manicure or a massage, you’d appreciate the fact that “I did it for me.” But my activity may actually sound like drudgery to some.

However, for me, it was sheer joy.

It was back at the end of October. God had majestically painted the mountains for us to enjoy at every bend in the road and mountain vista.

The first year we lived in the mountains autumn resembled a water color painting. The second year, rain deluged the area leaving little color.

Looking back on 2019, we had a lovely spring and summer with intermittent rains. So, our hopes were high for a beautiful fall.

September slowly faded into October. Some hints of color teased us. Many leaf peepers came, but as when we visited, picking just the right week for peak color is not easy to do. Finally, the vibrant colors wowed us near the end of October.

In just one day, a drive along the same road as the day before took our breath away.

Our backyard had become a haven for falling leaves totally covering the ground beneath. I was itching to get out there to rake on this particularly sunny and clear autumn day. But Ken’s methods with the blower would be far more efficient and quicker.

Just before he made headway with the blower, I quickly grabbed the rake, put on my yard gloves and started raking the yard. At least an inch of multi-colored leaves covered my shoes and quickly swarmed into measurably more.

I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face.

Breathing in the cool mountain air and hearing the crunch under my feet and the swish of the rake as the ground became visible again … was simply exhilarating. I looked up to see the sun filtering through the trees and casting an ethereal glow over our yard. My smile grew wider.

After about 20 minutes of raking, Ken and his blower joined me. Shortly after, I left not sure if my efforts had been helpful but knowing one thing.I did it for me. Isaiah 55: 12 NKJV tells you why.

“For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

Being in God’s artistic natural world is an opportunity to praise him. Even if it is with a rake in one’s hand. Selah