The Landscape of My Soul

I believe that many of us search for answers to the deep questions of life. The quest to understand. Why are we here? What is our purpose? These questions often lead us in many directions. Trying to discover that sometimes elusive knowledge and awareness. To find a deeper meaning and connection. It is a lifetime journey. And for me this journey has brought me into the landscape of my soul.

The landscape of my soul is rich and vibrant and wondrous. It is familiar yet mysterious. It is has no beginning and it has no end. It is vast and wide and deep.

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My travels and exploration of the natural world are at the heart of what gives meaning to my soul. It is here in nature where I find my purpose and I understand better why I am here. This realization isn’t surprising. It feels like a truth I’ve known forever. But I had to uncover and rediscover it. It is all there for me I only need to reach for it.

I recognize these landscapes. It has been a journey into the wildness of my soul.

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Like the trees I am learning I can stand tall even in adversity. My roots deep in the soil finding the nourishment I need from the earth.

Like the mountains I scale with determination, strength, and endurance. Because at the top, the view is magnificent and I can see everything more clearly.

Like the wind whispering truths and the rains that wash my spirit clean

Like the rivers that flow with ease and grace reminding me to move through life in the same way.

Like the sky vast and infinite with its storms and rainbows, its dark clouds and bright sunshine, giving me hope that this too shall pass.

Like the ocean full of beauty, mystery and healing. Its ancient wisdom always teaching me what I need to remember.

All these landscape. All these places within me and around me. I see and embrace them all.

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Places of inspiration, places of joy, places of peace, places of light, places of wonder, places of harmony and places of gratitude.

This is a journey that never ends. This journey into the landscape of my soul.

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For now, it is time to wander in a new direction. I will be back here again someday.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your support and encouragement and for joining me as I wandered…

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Heaven’s Gulch

I tried to get to Devil’s Gulch last year, but along the way I was distracted by Ritterbush Pond and never made it any further.

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This year, I was determined to hike there and to see this unique natural feature on the Long Trail near Belvedere Mountain.

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It was a beautiful day when we set out. Ritterbush Pond appeared, and we did linger there for awhile. How could we not? The calm reflective waters invite lingering.

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But it was Devil’s Gulch that was our destination. The trail there is deceiving. It travels down instead of up. Down, down, down. Deep into a narrow valley.

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A ladder leaning up against a rock face is the first clue that there is more to this place than meets the eye.

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At the top of the ladder you look down into the gulch. Devil’s Gulch. I expected something dark and sinister. But what I saw seemed more like an entrance to a magical and enchanted place. An opening into another time and dimension. It captured my heart immediately and completely.

Huge rocks and boulders lay scattered about before me. Some resting precariously and others seemed as if they had been there forever.

Thickly coated in emerald green moss and lichen. Tree roots embracing and holding them in place.

An altar appeared. Made of rocks and moss. It felt almost church like. And I wondered why. Why was this beautiful place named Devil’s Gulch?

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As the sunlight filtered through the overhead trees and we explored this captivating place, I realized it didn’t matter why. To me, it felt more like Heaven’s Gulch.

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A place of serenity, peace…and a little bit like heaven.

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The Taste of Summer

It seems to take forever to get here. Summer here in Vermont is notoriously late. A chilly and wet June dashed hopes of it arriving on time. But when it does finally arrive…it is a time of delicious celebration. A feast for the senses.

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And so we immerse ourselves in the glorious scents and sounds and…tastes of summer.

Scrumptious rich sunsets

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Delectable warm waters

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Juicy succulent flowers

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Heavenly blue skies

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Sweet luscious fields

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Enticing aromatic forests

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Mouthwatering ripe gardens

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There is a certain flavor to summer. It is a time that awakens and arouses all of our senses.

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It is a time to savor and enjoy and taste…every last morsel.

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Springtime at the Quarries

They always surprise me, these abandoned quarries.

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I always discover something new each time I go. A new trail. Another new hidden quarry. A new view. A new sense of awe.

In the springtime, the quarries show their true colors. The deep and mineral rich water sparkles brilliantly in the sun.

The leaves fill in the woods and trails filtering light and giving life to the things that grow here.

The rocks, scarred and striated, stand tall and proud above the glorious pools below.

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This newness…is how I wish to live my life. Each day a new beginning. Each day a new chance. Each day a new adventure.

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And the quarries in springtime remind me just how beautifully brand new each day is.

Chasing Waterfalls

Waterfalls are beautiful any time of year. But here in Vermont, when the snows start to melt, they are truly something to behold.

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The sound of rushing water has always been a soothing balm to my soul.

In the spring, the water almost roars as it cascades down rivers and streams. There is an underlying excitement as everything thaws.

It overflows and spreads. Washing away the dirt and grime from sanding and salting. It feeds the riverbanks so that tender green things can grow. It fills the ponds and lakes with sediments and nutrients. It creates new paths and oxbows that birth with new life.

I like to chase these waterfalls and capture them at their peak of glory.

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So I can listen to them singing in celebration.

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Spring is here!