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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Church

I am blessed to live where I do. All around me are some of the most beautiful and unique natural places. Places that I find wonder and joy. Places that bring me peace. Places that lift my spirit up.

Places…that I call Church.

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I try to go to Church on a regular basis. It has become a huge part of my life and who I am. And so, you can frequently find me at Church.

It is in Church where all things seem possible. Where the stresses from every day life melt away. Where quiet contemplation and reflection remind me of what is most important in my life and where gratitude replaces fear.

It is here at Church where I feel closest to my heart and to my soul.

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It is here where I feel free. It is here where I find grace.

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And it is here where I lose and find myself.

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Over and over and over again…at Church.

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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Weekly Photo Challenge: Today was a Good Day

I have many good days. So it was hard to select a series of images to represent just one day or one adventure! After all, that’s what my blog is. A photo journal of my life and my passion for the natural world. Here is a gallery of images that illustrates what a really good day (or few days!) might look like for me because it would include so much of what inspires me…

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Today Was a Good Day.”

Thrive

I’ve been thinking about the word thrive lately. Especially as the school year winds down and I feel like I’m merely surviving rather than thriving. But I think it’s more than that.

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This idea of thriving has taken root in my mind and in my heart. It is growing. I am realizing that in life we are meant to thrive. We are meant to flourish and truly live.

Yet I have begun to wonder…am I really thriving or just surviving in my life?

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Perhaps it’s because of this journey I have found myself on. A journey of uncovering and discovering who I am and what I want from this life. There is a deeper purpose and meaning that keeps whispering to me and I’m starting to hear what it’s saying. I’ve dived into the depths of my heart and my soul. I’ve healed wounds and grown in countless ways.

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And now there is a longing, a yearning for something more.

So I’ve begun a kind of transformation…and taken a turn down a mysterious and yet exciting path.

I’m not sure where it will lead. And that’s ok. I have faith in where I am heading.

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I do believe this path is where I will find what it is I am yearning for. And along the way, I will learn what it means to thrive. After all, I have seen how nature thrives…