Like many of you, I’ve been spending the last two weeks looking desperately for peace and a quiet mind. I’ve found a few things that help. Writing is one; wine is another. And getting outdoors into the beauty of creation has a healing power like nothing else.
I’d like to share with you two places I’ve found God lately.
One is a county park not far from where I work. It’s the place where Scott proposed to me lo these fifteen (!) years ago. And while the hillsides are light brown most of the year, we’ve been fortunate enough to have rain this fall, and everything is a brilliant spring green.
There are oaks here, and bay trees which give out a wonderful fragrance. There is poison oak turning a beautiful red and lots of deer, who graze unconcernedly as you walk by. Off in the distance you can see Silicon Valley and the bay.
It’s a place so dear to my heart, and on a crystal-blue day like this, with the earth still soft from the recent rain and the air smelling so sweetly of oak and bay, it’s much easier to breathe here than anywhere else.
The next place is in the Marin Headlands, north of San Francisco. The boys went there on a Cub Scout Hike, and it was the kind of day where rain gave way to wonderfully dramatic skies, with clouds over the ocean and fog hugging the hills.
We hiked from the estuary to the coast, then up a rather significant hill to a WWII bunker up on the top (a hit with the Scouts). Along the way we passed an honest-to-goodness cove far, far down below, in which water was churning and roiling about and moving a log as if it were a toothpick. The whole setting was all very Poldark. I half expected to see Cornish smugglers unloading a ship down below.
It was balm for the spirit: being out by the water, seeing impossibly large waves form and crash onto the beach, smelling salt and soil and the cleanness that only comes from a good rain, seeing the birds wheel and glide over the estuary and the hills. At every turn there was a view that makes you think about the Being that made all this, in its glorious splendor, for the rest of us to live on and with.
I’m home now, with sore legs and good memories and a renewed conviction that time outside is always the best choice.