Finding the words to show, not tell


“There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose,
because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.”

[Henri Matisse]

Description, we’re told, is best achieved not in telling, but in showing — not in saying it’s raining, but in helping the reader feel raindrops on his face. (Who said that, BTW?) If Henri Matisse thinks painting a rose is difficult, he should try describing one! That God can even create such perfection leaves me without words.

How about you? Could you write a sentence or two that would allow readers to experience the fragile blush, the satin texture, of this beauty?


Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”
[Jeremiah 32:17 NIV]


A Natural Kind of Beauty

There is nothing quite like the peaceful seclusion of a special place to bring refreshment to mind, body and spirit. Our lakeside retreat is remote. There is no public access and the nearest electricity is twenty kilometers away. Only one other home on the lake is occupied.


The only sounds we hear are from nature – most often it’s the loons. Their haunting call echoes over the lake at random times day and night.   It’s a nostalgic sound for me, reminding me of childhood vacations, family gatherings and annual hunting trips. Starting with my parents, our family has owned property on this lake for more than sixty years and I can’t recall a time when the loons weren’t there.


No matter what the weather, in fog, sunshine or pre-storm moodiness, the lake view is memorable. I have taken hundreds of photos and no two ever seem exactly the same.



It is a place of quiet beauty, accessorized with the peeling bark of birch trees, fluttering poplar leaves, brooding evergreens and an abundance of wildflowers — scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Brown-eyed Susans, lacy white Yarrow, the occasional nodding Tiger Lily, pale pink Wild Rose bushes growing between patches of glossy Oregon Grape and scatterings of Oxeye Daisy. Their splashes of colour stand out against a rusty backdrop of soil created by ancient disintegrating trees and deep layers of discarded evergreen needles. It is a natural kind of beauty… the kind that can’t be duplicated in my home garden… the kind only the Master Gardener can create.



The world is His, and all that is within. I am ever so thankful for His generosity in sharing it with me during these past two weeks of vacation in the wilderness!