“This must be what heaven is like.”

It was in the middle of our book club meeting that one of our members made this comment. She wasn’t actually talking about our book club – although I certainly consider it heavenly to spend an afternoon or evening in thoughtful conversation with people whose company I enjoy and whose opinions I respect.

However, her comment related to an excursion with an elderly relative.

At one point during our meeting, our discussion led into stories about caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s or other forms and degrees of dementia. The woman who made the comment about heaven was quoting a loved one they had taken for a scenic boat ride. Although he was in an advanced stage of his disease, and his communication was extremely limited, he recognized the beauty of nature that was all around him, and expressed it eloquently.

I understand how he felt, and I totally agree. This is our first autumn in Georgia, and although most of our friends and family in northern states have already experienced snow, ice, and freezing temperatures, our weather here is still relatively warm. The leaves are just now turning their bright and vivid colors, and the angle of the sun is making the lake water sparkle more brilliantly than ever. It’s hypnotic, stunning, and peaceful beyond words.  And I imagine that must be what heaven is like.

It’s getting harder and harder to find or experience glimpses of heaven in our world these days, but they do exist. In nature, especially, but also in a few moments spent in quiet reflection, or in the simple joy of time spent with family and friends.

As our Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I encourage you to take a few minutes whenever you can to turn down the volume, slow down the pace, and take time to look around you. Try to appreciate all that you find. Be especially grateful for the natural beauty that surrounds you, for the people you love and who love you, and for the peace and serenity that can be found around you and inside of you if you only take the time to look for it.

And don’t be surprised if it gives you a quick, quiet glimpse of what heaven must be like.

November 17, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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