Serenity in the Midst of Turmoil

There is a lot of unrest in America following the recent election.  So many are worried about the future of our country.  Social media is full of opinions on both sides of the fence.   It is easy to get caught up in the turmoil.  And yet, we must remember that our God is in control.  He holds us in the palm of His hand.  He watches over us and our country.  He offers peace and rest free for the asking.

One of my favorite activities is to go out for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature.  In this way, I reconnect with God and refresh my spirit.  I see the incredible world that God has made and I am at peace.  I enjoy fresh air, beautiful vistas, a bit of exercise, and photo ops.  Hope you will enjoy these pics from a later afternoon hike in the woods near our home.

Ridley Creek
This old stone wall (maybe a damn) is in the middle of the woods

As you contemplate natural beauty, allow your soul to be at rest and allow peace to invade your spirit.  Take time to enjoy the world around you.

Gordon Moments

I attended Homecoming at my alma mater last weekend.  It was wonderful to be back on campus and see how much the college has grown.  There was a vibrancy on campus – an excitement for all that God is doing in and through the college.  There are many new buildings since I was there and the facilities are quite impressive.  The college has kept up with education trends and the needs of the student population.  At the same time, they have kept the natural beauty of the campus intact and there are beautiful places to walk both on the perimeter of the campus and in the heart of it.  The sense of place and of mission is very strong on this college campus.  Even the older buildings are filled with the energy of staff who are enthused about the direction and goals of the college.

We walked through the woods to the large pond and I remembered walking and cross-country skiing on these paths as well as canoeing and swimming in the pond.  I saw a few old friends and met several new ones.  The college motto is “Lives Worth Leading” and they are intentionally shaping students to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Natural Beauty on Campus

Island Adventures

Had a fantastic day trip to Block Island this past weekend.

North Lighthouse

We rented mopeds and rode, then walked out to the North Lighthouse,

Northern most point of Block Island
Northern most point of Block Island
Mohegan Bluffs
Mohegan Bluffs
Southeast Light
Southeast Light

swam, walked around the point, and then rode round to the Southeast Light and Mohegan Bluffs.  Went back into town for lunch and then another swim and some frisbee in the ocean.  A sun-filled, salty, sandy day was just what we all needed.  Refreshing to walk along the shore and see the ocean, which was very clear and a beautiful turquoise blue.

Serenity restored.

Spring = Serenity

fresh green leaves
fresh green leaves

I’d be hard-pressed to say which is my favorite season. I love them all! But today it is spring and so today that is my favorite season. And I think I have finally captured spring.

Although I love all of the flowering trees, the cherry blossoms particularly, my favorite are the pink dogwood. But the fresh new green of budding trees against a deep blue sky is something that speaks serenity to my soul.

What speaks serenity to your soul?


Jellyfish: Boys of War

CoastHad a lovely walk on the beach this week with our 21, almost 22, year old daughter.  We had to step carefully to avoid the man-o-war jellyfish that had blown up onto the sand in the stiff offshore breeze.  Gen was lamenting the poor creatures demise and particularly the bitty ones that she called ‘boys of war’ who did not even get to survive to adulthood.  They were about an inch in diameter and seemed so fragile, yet are so dangerous.  Her phrase and her empathy made me smile.  Life is precious – even a jellyfish!  This child of mine is passionate about life, about sustainability, about reducing homelessness, about many subjects.  What a joy to share this time by the ocean.  Another day at the beach we giggled uncontrollably as the wind pelted us with tiny stinging grains of sand.  At the pool, we lay in the sun and had a long heart-to-heart.  Connecting with this beautiful young woman who lives so far from us is a rare treat and I cherished our short time together.  Finding serenity together as we laughed, celebrated, reminisced and enjoyed time outdoors.

#optoutside #evenwithboysofwar

Opting Out – Outdoors That Is

Tonight I am meditating on:

  • Work
  • Play
  • Sabbath

and the connection to:

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Spirit

Are the short walks that I take a mini form of Sabbath?  Taking photographs, noticing the beauty of creation is similar for me.  Reading is at times also restful for me.  I was studying a bit more about StrengthsFinder tonight and noticed the connections between introspection and Intellection.  Reading is, at times, also restful for me.

I paused to read Michael Hyatt’s post:

Why Going Outdoors Makes You Smarter, Stronger, and More Spiritual

and was struck by the similarity of our thoughts.

Serene living-1

Are there practices that rejuvenate your spirit in a similar way?

Global Warming

At dinner the other night, someone asked me if I thought this extreme weather wasn’t more evidence of global warming.  Our neighbors had come to dinner because the power was out and our generator provided lights.  We had no heat, but we did have a working fridge, toaster oven, microwave and grill.  I did not readily agree and she was surprised.  Here’s why I could not agree.  First I would not define this as extreme weather – it’s winter.  Just another snowstorm and ice storm.  And this was no blizzard.  Second, weather comes in cycles anyway.  Remember the blizzard of 93?  How about the winter of 95/96 when we had over 70″ of snow in Connecticut. And it did not melt in between storms.  Some winters are just worse than others.  I don’t think this year’s snow is even excessive.  But if it was, I wouldn’t say that was evidence of global warming.  I am not sure where I even stand -what I believe about global warming.  But I am convinced we need to be better stewards of this created earth.

From Where I Stand

The Tea House

This photo was, I believe taken in early spring [judging by the shade of green in the picture] and we have yet to see it in spring.  We are having fun imagining all the use we will get out of it come warmer weather.

Meanwhile, it makes for excellent storage for the patio furniture.  And for a few laughs whenever one of us suggests that we could use the tea house … much too cold to even think of going out there now – high of 23 today!