Every Tuesday night, I head to the Foxtale Book Shoppe (think Cheers in bookstore form) where I am taking a class called “The Artist’s Way.” I treasure the time that I get to spend with this quirky, creative group whom God consistently uses to encourage, inspire, and stretch me out of my comfort zone. I am out of my league in their midst, but my secret hope is that their creativity is contagious and that their skills will somehow rub off on me. During our time together, we study the craft of writing and then, well, we write. One of our prompts this week was to describe our favorite place.
My favorite place is a large boulder in my own backyard. Each day, I fill the feeders, pick up my camera and head outside. I sit quietly on this solid surface, and try my best to blend in with the environment. I often wear earth tones and stillness comes easily to me, so it usually isn’t long before I am greeted with the flutter of wings and a chorus of whistles and squawks.
I love the crispness of the autumn air and the canopy of leaves that covers me. The gold and amber hues stir a sweet sort of melancholy, while the bright feathers and cheerful chirps fan the flames of a hope grown fragile and dim amidst the demands of everyday life. A few feet away, a small waterfall cascades down the hill, calling to the birds to come and quench their thirst. As it races over the rocks in its path, it sings a soothing song and speaks peace to my soul. There is a reason that the voice of God is said to be like the sound of many waters.
This place, at this time, is a gift to me. It is my sanctuary – a place where I can slow down, quiet my spirit, and savor the presence of God. It is a time when I can take a deep breath and be reminded that God is real, that He is good, and that His hand sustains all things. Surrounded by the beauty of a well cared for creation, I am assured that I too am well cared for.
I read these words by Madeleine L’Engle this morning, which made me smile and seemed a fitting ending for this post. She wrote:
“I sit on my favourite rock, looking over the brook, to take time away
from the busy-ness, time to be. I’ve long since stopped feeling guilty
about taking being time; it’s something we all need for our spiritual health,
and often we don’t take enough of it.” (Walking on Water, p12)
My sentiments exactly, Madeleine.