|Beaver swimming at the Virginia Living Museum|
|Red Wolf at the Virginia Living Museum|
I’m delighted to share with my daughter a place that means so much to me, a place that’s grown and developed throughout my life and I hope will do so through hers as well. I’m delighted to encourage her in a love of nature and science and beauty. It thrills me when she points to the sky and says “look at those beautiful clouds!” I cheer when she begins to grasp different processes, like a catepillar’s transformation into a butterfly. In the end, observing and reveling in the beauty of our world, whether in an animal’s graceful motion or in the artistry of our bodies or a sunlit bank of clouds is a form of worship, of adoration for the Lord who created all of this intricate, extravagant beauty and then invited us to share it. Learning how the world works, how clouds form and how beavers build lodges and how our hearts pump blood is another form of worship; it is a chance to delight in the elegance and originality and cleverness of the structures underlying what we see. In my life, in my heart, science and religion have never been in conflict. Science has always shown me more and more reasons to love my Lord. This has been a precious gift in my life, and now I am honored to pass it in turn to my daughter.