Tag Archives: peace and quiet

Woods and the Rising Sun

It’s always a treat to be outside to meet the morning sun. The woods are at their best even for an audience of one. #getoutside. #PhotoPoetry. 

The sun comes up on the woods out behind our house. I can hear the woods come to life, while Black Brook rushes through the ravine below me.

Holding On

Are all of the days this long? I’m tired to the point that my body wants to tap out.

Can’t I just sit here with my thoughts for a while longer? Must we always sleep?

Right now it’s quiet. There are no additional requirements.

Peace sits next to me and it too, is at ease. Please let this last.

Sleep, I need badly, but if only not to interrupt the balance of perpetual thought.

A soundtrack plays in the background, moods changing every few hours.

But right now, it’s all good. Ahhh, it’s good. Exhaustion starts to employ physics.

The promise of peaceful slumber hangs on my eyelids like freezing rain on twigs.

The soundtrack cranks along, and the days credits roll. I reach for the moment.

Knowing, that this one blip on the eternal timeline will never again repeat.

And, then it is over, the fight, a TKO, with sleep the winner.

And with the sleep needed, a winner, so am I.

 

At Peace in the Forest

20160105_132143.jpgI walked in the woods. It was cold. The chill on my face was cold enough for me to notice. I thought that maybe it was cold enough to freeze condensation into my moustache. The snow was hard. It was frozen, molded by the beings that had trodden there before me. My steps were my own, but nearly every one of them landed where another had trod this space recently. My own passage through this place was loud and I wondered who, or what else, knew I was there. I assumed that all animals were keenly aware of my presence. When I stopped to tickle the depths of my throat with the crisp, clean, cold air, I heard nothing else. Save, the fluttering beech nut leaves that clung in the slight winter’s breeze to the twig that gave them life. Now and again I heard the pop of some piece of tree bark that finally succumbed to the temperatures. But for man, I heard nothing. I listened to my heartbeat as my eyes and ears sought out other sounds deep in the forest. The trickle of distant water half covered in ice seemed so loud even when it was still far enough away that I could not see it. The steps I took were in earnest as I couldn’t wait to get to a place where the path ran away to disappear somewhere around the next bend. Finally, after checking a spot along a trail that I had not explored before, I noticed that the foot prints in the snow ended, reversing themselves along the trail as they had entered.20160105_133126.jpg

Ahhh, I looked around and made no haste in determining my new direction. As a matter of fact, I even removed my heavy outer layer of clothing as I had created too much heat on my walk into the woods. I stripped down to my bare back in order to cool down and make sure all layers of my clothing were dry. I was worried that if my shirts were wet, and my pace slowed in the shadows of hills and forest, that I might quickly get too cold. It was only 14°F with a wind chill in the single digits back in the forest. I re-layered, and I wore the heaviest layer like a belt around my waist, because I knew if I was moving, I would be warm enough. I did not want to cut my time short, for there aren’t enough hours available to fully enjoy this landscape already.

Then I decided it would be the tiny deer tracks that I saw, tracks that made the faintest of impressions on the snow dust, like a thin layer of powdered sugar covering the crusted snow, was where I would follow. I walked in the woods. I walked on crusted snow. There were no other foot steps. There was no trail. I followed some animal tracks, but mostly just the lay of the land. The crusted snow was slick in spots but I thought of how much more difficult this walk would be in the summer months of growth. I knelt by a small stream to listen while my eyes searched for each instrument that played such a rhythmic trickle. I looked through the crystal clear sheet of ice and watched the water flow over the bed of the stream. I followed the land and its ease of passage feeling for the contours I would seek if looking at a map of the terrain. I came upon a large wetland that was fed by several small streams, a couple of which I had encountered during my walk. I skirted around the wetland checking the tracks in the snow and noticing the age of the massive fir trees around me. I noticed almost no hard wood trees and figured that the land had been cleared generations before me. Then as the ground rose, away from the water, I noticed a super highway of animal tracks. There were deer, muskrat, turkey, bobcat, coyote, otter, and another bird tracks that I wasn’t sure of. There was probably even more tracks that I missed. But during my time there, only the water, the wind, and I were moving. I stood in silence and let the sun warm my face, as I daydreamed of being there in that spot on some early, early morning to see all the activity connected to the tracks I saw. 20160105_133155.jpg

I listened to the sounds, the silence found in the absence of sound. I talked with my Lord aloud. I figured the nature around me was already familiar with The Lord Almighty, and that it would be just fine to speak aloud. I prayed aloud. I prayed in reverence. I prayed a thankful prayer. I prayed for the vision and attentiveness to notice the awesomeness of the Lord’s works in so many people, places, and things that I encounter every day. I prayed for my Dad, for my whole family, and for many more. I prayed for our leaders to boldly go where true leaders must go. I prayed for God’s direction for them, for me, for my family, for us all. I prayed about a lot of things. I talked openly with God. Finally I prayed for more opportunities to be in such wild and natural places as often as His will would allow. For me, there’s a calming, encompassing, peace and a connection to God that is unmistakable when truly engaged in the forest. For all of life that whisks by us in a blur that seems to be an endless loop at times, I was so grateful for these couple of hours in nature. I knew I had other commitments that I needed to attend to, so I made my way out of the forest, reluctantly returning to reality. As I left the woods and was returning to the places I needed to be, I saw a large, beautiful, wandering coyote going about his or her day. I smiled and I thought, perfect, I am leaving, let the animals return to their business. 20160105_133840.jpg

Walking in the Woods

I love walking in the woods. Although I don’t make the time to explore the woods as often as I would like to, I am always fascinated by the things I see, hear, and experience in the woods when I do. I took a few pictures the other day while I wandered in the woods, and here are a few photos that I am sharing.

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I found this pine tree that a Pileated Woodpecker had spent some time getting to know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is just a little panorama of an ice shelf on Black Brook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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More evidence of the Pileated Woodpecker’s work.

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I am no expert, but I am pretty certain that this is a very well-worn deer path. There were numerous paths just like this one, crisscrossing through these woods.

 

Sunday Series – Above the noise

This is just a short poem I wrote. It’s inspired by some recent conversations that I have been apart of and also by the song by Casting Crowns. It’s simple I suppose. But it means a lot to me; even deeper than I am able to convey. I hope you can read between the lines and understand where this is coming from. Merry Christmas from above the noise.

Above the noise

This is about the season and the song 

It’s Christmas time and I have to say

Give me some peace and quiet time 

Decrease noise, so we can reflect and pray

 

I climb higher to the sacred ground

Where I can hover above the noise

To me this is where we should be

All about the Son and songs, not toys

 

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Not the ones heard begging for things

But bells celebrating our Lord’s birth

When children and angels all sing

 

Their old familiar carols play

Sounds so divine, not for show

We sing, as one with the words

Faith to some, but you and I know

 

And mild and sweet their songs repeat

The message heard but too often ignored

Melodies dance from the tips of tongues

These words celebrate the birth of our Lord

 

Of peace on earth, good will to men

Most defy somehow each day

Peace means quiet and tranquility

Let there be peace, here, let us stay