She danced. I’d promised to take her hiking, but she chose dancing. My granddaughter recently discovered a waterfall in the creek out back that plunged a majestic 1½, maybe 2 feet, but it was sufficient to birth a love of waterfalls. “Grampa, will you take me to a real waterfall?”
You know the answer.
On the first day of spring break, we set out for Raven Cliff Falls in the North Georgia mountains. The trail follows a creek from start to finish and from the first glimpse, she was toast—a young teen discovering a new love. She did not walk, nor did she hike—she danced. Arms waving, leaping like a prima ballerina over mud puddles, then halting motionless like a fawn at an unknown noise, stricken into paralysis by the sparkle of water tumbling over a river stone.
Turns out she dances much faster than a grampa hikes. While I was soon breathless with the pace and elevation gain, she was breathless with the beauty. “Cool, Grampa!” became her mantra that afternoon, though I chose to interpret the phrase without a comma. She was discovering that a “real” waterfall is far more than she had imagined—more dazzling, more alive, with greater capacity to hypnotize than she knew to prepare for.
She was also becoming friends with the Psalmist: “One thing I asked, that will I seek after: to…behold the beauty of the Lord…”(27:4). I forget sometimes that beauty is one of the chief attributes of God. Righteousness and holiness, omniscience and omnipotence, even hesed and agape seem so much more important, to be taken with great seriousness. The beauty of God, however, filling creation, is what most often lures my heart. It’s the beauty of God that beckons me closer with a “Come here, big boy. Check this out.” The beauty of God makes me dance, freeze in overwhelmed awe, and leap like a prima, if somewhat grandfatherly, danseur.
Thanks, granddaughter of mine, for taking me to behold the beauty of the Lord once again. I hope I’m wise enough to behold it also in the waterfalls in the backyard.