Playdates with God: Listen to Life Singing

June 3, 1849.—Fresh and delicious weather. A long morning walk. Surprised the hawthorn and wild rose-trees in flower. From the fields vague and health-giving scents. The Voirons fringed with dazzling mists, and tints of exquisite softness over the Salève. Work in the fields, two delightful donkeys, one pulling greedily at a hedge of barberry. Then three little children. I felt a boundless desire to caress and play with them. To be able to enjoy such leisure, these peaceful fields, fine weather, contentment; to have my two sisters with me; to rest my eyes on balmy meadows and blossoming orchards; to listen to the life singing in the grass and on the trees; to be so calmly happy—is it not too much? Is it deserved? O let me enjoy it with gratitude. The days of trouble come soon enough and are many enough. I have no presentiment of happiness. All the more let me profit by the present. Come, kind nature, smile and enchant me! Veil from me awhile my own griefs and those of others; let me see only the folds of thy queenly mantle, and hide all miserable and ignoble things from me under thy bounties and splendors! —Amiel’s Journal


This morning, the world is laced with white, petite ice crystals cling to fingers of grass—winking in the early light. I’m out in the back yard in my robe, knee boots pulled on hastily, trying to capture beauty. Everything I touch melts and I tiptoe cautiously along the rim of this plot of land we call home. I am a clumsy giant in this fragile frozen world and diamonds crush beneath me.  The birds are quiet and my hem is soaked clean through from the bending and kneeling, and I think, Just one more shot.

The kids are getting ready for school and the neighbor’s goats crash through the meadow and my bare legs are turning blue beneath this robe.

But I am standing in a wonderland and I wonder. How does the world not stop its turning in the wake of such beauty?

The things that disappear too quickly are begging to be framed.

Life is moving fast and my prayers are filled with sadness this morning, heart wrung by a hurting friend. I stand alone on this gossamer, small but seen, and I sing the Shema. I lift it all up: this beauty, that grief, all the loss a broken world must endure.

Just one more shot, I think.

And Beauty is a person; that sweet Companion who soothes the ache.

Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

Laura Boggess


  1. says

    And every time you brave the weather with your camera poised to capture the moment, you are transporting us into that moment as well, Laura! Thank you for the treasures you serve up to us each week!

  2. says

    I love that I have another friend who traipses around her yard in her bathrobe and knee boots–or maybe even open-toe slippers in the snow–and who finds comfort in the fleeting that begs to be framed. Sending so much love. And adding Amiel’s Journal to my wish list.

  3. says

    Laura, thank you for sharing the beauty you capture. It is so true that something in the beauty & purity of snow and frost brings a comfort that one day, He will indeed, make all things right and perfect and pure. Blessings!

  4. says

    “The things that disappear too quickly are begging to be framed.” Yes. Things like my 19-yr-old. She was home for the weekend, helping me learn how to use my new camera so I can take attempt to frame even more moments before they escape. Beautiful, Laura.

    • says

      Ah, bless you, Lisa. We are almost there. My 15 year old was on an overnight with the band for a competition over the weekend, and I missed him so much! Next year I might be calling on you for some strong words of experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what you learn about your new camera!

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey says

    Laura, both posts are so exquisite, and at first, I thought it was you writing. You’re both so lyrically blessed. I’m not familiar with Amiel’s journal, but I am with fleeting beauty and hurting friends. I’m so, so sorry.

    And something of this post, of how you just have to get one more shot, suddenly helped me to understand more about my beautiful daughter Sheridan–about how, when we are walking, and this happened just again yesterday, she must stop and get “one more shot.” Mike and I were cold and wanted to keep moving–plus Mother and a friend were coming to dinner soon. Generally, we’re not so hurried, but her “one more shot” was more of a slight irritation to me. Oh my! This post really makes me feel badly (though not your intent! :-). I’m assuredly not a photographer. So first, I need to understand Sheridan’s play-language (w/ me it would be one more note sung or played, or one more word written). Bur for her, it’s one more photo captured or line drawn. She’s an artist. And I”m suddenly seeing with new eyes today, that my daughter is also an artist of life. She is capturing the beauty which God unfolds before her, savoring, and keeping it. May I do the same, not just with words and music, but with attitude.
    Thanks for this beautiful sharing. And I know your beautiful attitude will be balm for your friend, too.

    • says

      Lynn, I love how your heart and your eyes are always open, looking for what God is speaking to you in each moment. And I hear you, my friend. Life is busy! But I think this experience you share is the exception to your rule. This stood out: “Generally, we’re not so hurried…” This is why your heart is such soft clay. You offer it up for the Potter on a regular basis–to shape and form into his art.

      Love you.

  6. says

    I can “almost” heart the singing from where I am. Your words are so beautiful and the pictures they paint give me goosebumps, Laura. I needed to play today and you have given me another avenue for such.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  7. says

    I’m sorry for your pain and your friend’s pain….and beauty does soothe…I’m so glad you were able to enjoy the beauty outside this morning…Thank you for sharing it with us 🙂


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