“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die” – Ecc.3:1-2

Keep Looking Up is an encouraging refrain, but a recent hike had me gazing downward. Soon to be extinguished by forest giants’ leafy canopy, dappled patches of sunshine bathe the forest floor triggering a profusion of tiny blooms. Here’s glimpse of Spring’s fleeting beauty erupting from the soils in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last week . . . a vibrant renewal of life!  






What are the first two words that come to mind when you see this koi?  In Japanese, koi is a homophone for another word that means “affection” or “love”; koi are therefore symbols of love and friendship in Japan.

I must admit these weren’t the two descriptors that popped into mind as I stood at the edge of the pond watching this mini—Moby swim by.  I saw rhythmic beauty effortlessly gliding through the water, with a face only a mother koi could love . . . but then I’m not Japanese.

It’s said, “Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”. The once cute, little chubby infant that entered the world 75 years ago (Yep, that once was me} has long since lost his attractiveness, both physically and behaviorally. Yet, throughout the years, both my mother and Creator faithfully maintained a ’Japanese’ koi-perspective of affection and love, remaining focused on the hidden beauty and potential beneath the ever accumulating, unattractive wrinkled wrongs of their prodigal son . . . it made a profound difference on my life.

Standing at pond’s edge, mini-Moby still fails to evoke sentiments of affection and love.  However, my prayer is to grow day-by-day in developing an authentic ‘koi-perspective’ towards everyone who ‘swims’ by.  Hopefully, doing so will add a rhythmic beauty to each of our lives, enabling us to glide a bit more effortlessly through life’s rapids as we journey together upstream towards Home . . . swim on!