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.
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.
It is here where I feel free. It is here where I find grace.
And it is here where I lose and find myself.
Over and over and over again…at Church.
It has been a beautiful summer. I spent many hours enjoying the people and places I love.
This summer I also hiked. I hiked a lot. Sometime in July, I calculated I had hiked over 70 miles since school ended June 20. I decided I wanted to try to hike 100 miles before school began again.
The mountains in Vermont are glorious. The views and vistas magnificent. No two mountains are alike. The trails vary in length and difficulty. The views partial or a full 360 degrees.
To me, it doesn’t matter. The journey up the mountain is just as special and wondrous as the summit.
School began August 20. On August 19, I hiked up Sunset Ledge and watched the sun set. As I sat and gazed out I realized I had reached and surpassed my goal of 100 miles.
This summer I hiked 101.5 miles.
As I climbed down in the dark, I smiled. Maybe next summer I’ll try for 200 miles.
There is a place. In the far northeast corner of Vermont. A place I have come to love. A place where I have over the years sought peace and serenity and found so much more. It holds a very special place in my heart.
With her towering mountains that stand guard over her shores.
With her calm and reflective waters.
With iher glorious vistas and magnificent sunsets.
It is a place where worries fall away and life slows down. A step back into a simpler time. And wonder around every corner and on every mountain top.
It’s always hard to leave. But I know that she’s always here for me. Waiting patiently until I return again.
From Lake Willoughby with love…
They always surprise me, these abandoned quarries.
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.
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.
And the quarries in springtime remind me just how beautifully brand new each day is.
The world around me is growing, blooming, flourishing. I am in awe of her beauty and her unfolding.
I love all seasons but spring…the season of rebirth…holds me in her spell. Enchanting, captivating, and radiant.
I immerse myself in her lushness and extravagance.
I stare in wonder at the abundance of colors and inhale the heavenly scents.
I feel gentle breezes and nourishing rains. The earth is truly coming back to life.
There is a stirring inside my soul. A desire, a passion, a reverence for what I am seeing and experiencing around me and within me. I feel myself blossoming and expanding. My heart joyous and content.
It’s as though I am kissing the earth. Savoring these tender and sweet moments. And as I journey through this season…
I feel the earth kissing me back.
As I write this, it is 20 degrees below zero. Spring, according to the calendar, is just a few weeks away. Somehow I think it might take a bit longer to arrive here in the north country.
It has been a brutally cold winter. Yet I know it won’t last forever. I also know that inside of me there is hope. Spring will come and we will welcome her with open arms.
I like to think that spring is eternal.
It is within us all. At any time of the year.
At any point in our lives.
Spring can be felt and experienced and shared.
Spring is rebirth, growth, unfolding, opening.
It is hope, faith, optimism, joy.
Spring is alive, vibrant, colorful, rich.
It is earthy, sultry, sweet, delicate.
Spring is so much more than just a season.
It is how life can be lived…eternally