“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
The air, beneath the dam’s waterfall, literally sparkled as the wings of hundreds of mayflies caught the sunlight streaming down. Here was an enchanted place, it seemed.
As I paused to catch my breath, from the climb down to the fall below Mirror Lake, I blocked out the activity of all the children hopping from rock to rock and just took in God’s beauty – from the sunlight not only streaming through wings, but also through the turning leaves of the trees and topping the water like bits of glitter. The sound of water rushing over the curved dam was very calming.
Up above, the water, has its beginnings in Blanchard Spring which pours out of a mountainside in the Ozark National Forest. Dammed it forms the lake and below the dam, the waters reconvene in a creek, where once an earlier citizen by the name of Mitchell, had a mill that provided ground corn and ginned cotton from 1900-1928. One can still see the remnants of the mill. The dam was built up by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1942 and the lake is stocked with trout. Mitchell’s mill replaced a grist mill built by John Blanchard sometime after he came to Stone county, Arkansas, following the Civil War.
Below the lake it was cooler and offered a respite from the afternoon heat above where my husband was trying to catch a trout. I just stood there on a rock, ignoring those around me, and soaked up the beauty of the water falling over the dam. Beauty abounds in this area from the forest, to the spring flowing out of a rock, to the lake, waterfall and the nearby caverns that offer underground tours. I had been to the caverns and the springs many, many times, sometimes just my husband and me, sometimes with our children, also with my sister, and grandchildren, but never had I ventured to the lake and the dam. I don’t know why I missed this spot. Maybe I didn’t have the time, or didn’t explore enough. Sometimes we just don’t take the opportunity to seek out the beauty nearby.
To say that our lives are busy, seems quite an understatement. It seems like the more technology changes, the less time we have to ourselves. I multi-task in practically everything I do. It’s so hard to just concentrate on one thing with so many things to capture our attention. Sometimes we need to block out the extra movement around us and find a place – whether it is taking a stroll or just sitting on the back porch, away from the myriad activities of life and enjoy what God has put on display. His handwriting is everywhere.