Tag Archives: nature

Shining Moments

Many years ago I had a tree house. Well, it wasn’t actually mine but I helped build it and make it comfy. And sometimes when the air is blowing just a certain way and the birds are chirping I remember back to my favorite place up there hidden among the branches.

My older brother Dave was the architect and chief builder of the tree house. And my role was one of helper. He was nine and I seven.

We lived in a very small white cottage Ashokan ,New York near the Catskills. And the big maple tree stood in our front yard. It was a child’s playground to be sure.

Yes, there Dave and I worked day after day carrying up pieces of wood one at a time and nailing them in place to make it safe. I can still see his excited smile as he saw his idea becoming a reality. From way up high we could look down and see everything. But no one could see us. So much fun.

No, the huge branches and leaves wonderfully hid us from view. Our secret place.

The tree house was where I liked to play for hours.  Graham crackers were frequent treats.

And from way up high I could look down and see our favorite sheep, Beauty, grazing nearby. What a beautiful sheep she was.

Bug town, our insect community, was located behind our home.

No problems. No worries. No cares.

Just the big sky and lots and lots of wildflowers and berries.

Memories like these warm my heart today.

Yes. there are days still when I long to climb that old tree and hide in that tree house until suppertime.


Childhood is the time for play and creativity. But it need not stop there.

No, we all need to keep playing. To find time to let our creative juices flow.

To breathe deeply the air and really look and see.

Yesterday is rich with memories of simple pleasures that still bring me so much joy.

Lemonade stands, roller skating, catching lightning bugs. Boondoggles.

Sadly the children of today are frequently strangers to these pleasures.

We must be intentional and seize the opportunities while we can.

Let’s keep making lasting memories today.


Learning From Nature


Early this morning I went out for a brisk walk with my youngest. Together we walked, talking all the way, our breath coming out like small puffy clouds. Cheeks cherry red from the January cold. Eyes sparkling in the cold sunlight.

 As we passed the pond close to our home I noticed the ducks. How did they manage the cold? God had given them all they needed, I guess. I shivered as I pondered for a moment the life of a duck in January.

 We stopped for a few minutes the breeze whipping around our necks and focused on the beauty of the frozen icicles nearby. Against the backdrop of a brilliant blue sky we watched a single seagull wing its way overhead.

 There is much to learn from nature, isn’t there? The pace is regular. Peace abounds. Like the ocean tide coming in and out, nature also has a soothing flow. Harmony.

 I find that the longer I am out in nature, my own body relaxes. Have you noticed? Stress is reduced. You just feel better all over.

 Friends, let’s learn from nature. Make the time to get outside. The more time you spend outside, you will notice a difference in how you feel. Problems don’t loom as big. Schedules weaken their iron hold. Patience is the way.

 No matter what you are facing today, let me encourage you to take a few minutes and longer if you can, to go outside. Open your eyes and see. Listen to the sounds of nature.

The Greatest Giver has surrounded us with a beautiful world. You and I were made to enjoy it and to learn from it.

 And as we do, it will become healing for our souls.