Essays on Faith: Free God-given treasures abound

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From the time I was little, I was drawn to nature’s treasures that abounded in the front or backyard or anywhere on the block where I lived. My relatives were used to my picking and/or pulling up little treasures such as buttercups, clover, wild strawberries or what was seasonal.

I’m not sure if it was their colors, shapes or smells, but they gave me such a sense of delight. They were free and beautiful to me. After procuring yarn from a relative, I’d tie some bigger flowers or long clover into bouquets or necklaces.

If you’ve never made a clover necklace or bracelet, you missed such a joy. All that was required was to tie one end of a clover stem to another with a knot. The necklace could be any length you wanted.

And the aroma around my neck smelled heavenly. That was what kids did a long time ago. The idea was handed down to me, and in the future, I’d show kids how to do the same. They were astounded and joyful with their creations, and I might add that adults were, as well.

My love of God’s bounty found in nature never left me. If I saw Queen Anne’s lace growing, I’d pick it and bring it home to put in a vase of water. Simply beautiful. High end? Absolutely not, but free and elegant. Of elegance as a teenager, I knew that roses outweighed Queen Anne’s lace, but I’d rather have had the latter — and I still do to this day.

In these perilous times when both you and I are pretty much homebound, take a good look at what’s in your yard or a nearby grassy area for wildflowers, clover blooms or what catches your fancy. Use your imagination as to what you could make or arrange and enjoy the end result, being aware of poisonous plants or vines. No one wants poison ivy in a vase with wildflowers or such. Trust me on this — been there, done that.

Fall brings so many choices. There’s a plethora of vibrant leaf colors, orange berries, Japanese lanterns (if in a friend’s yard) and many dried blooms just waiting to be held in your hands. If pumpkins are nearby and being sold, purchase one but don’t forget the free acorns. Personally, fall is my favorite season, and it’s been a yearly ritual to gather all of these God-given gifts to admire and use inside or outside the house.

I have to add that I’ve always been a rock collector. They also have various shapes and colors, and rocks can be found most anywhere — not boulders, but the size you can hold in your hand, I might add. When I was 8 years old, imagine my mom’s surprise of finding a huge paper bag full of rocks underneath my bed. That did not go over well, much to my disdain, and so sadly I took my treasures and placed them together in the backyard.

Still, I’m always collecting rocks because I like the feel, the different colors and their shapes. I might add that normally they’re free and well worth securing, as they are another God-given gift and their uses are what you want them to be. Right this minute, I have two smooth rocks that I used in my classroom (yes, I was a long-time elementary teacher), to hold two stacks of paper.

All that I have mentioned are things you have to look around to find, and many are on the ground. Seeking these free treasures helps you let your mind wander, and focus on something to make you happy when turmoil lurks. After all, it is the little things in life that you and I remember, and if these are not in your memory (or hidden), it’s time to make them and/or reignite them.

In Deuteronomy 8:17 it is stated, “Beware lest you say in your heart ‘My power and this might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’”

The wealth was given to us by God. Enjoy it, and create your own happiness by what you’ve picked or found. No matter your age, or if you have children or grandchildren, catch some of nature’s bounty and share.

Most of all, you’ll feel an innate happiness, and who doesn’t want that?

Sherry Hill lives in Charleston.

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Funerals for Friday, July 3, 2020

Austin, Daniel - 12:30 p.m., Austin-Hope-McLeod Cemetery, Gallipolis Ferry.

Browning, James - 1:30 p.m., Pineview Cemetery, Orgas.

Cogar, Lela - 11 a.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.

Cook, Thermal - 1 p.m., Haven of Rest Memory Gardens, Red House.

Estep, Jerry - 2 p.m., Hafer Funeral Home, Elkview.

Grose, Violet - 2 p.m., Phillips Cemetery, Ovapa.

Hager, Vaughn - 2 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Ravenswood.

Ratliff, Karen - 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Rose, Mary - 3 p.m., Mollohan Cemetery, Birch River.

Smith, Dorothy - 11 a.m., Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens.