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When we feel the pressures, stresses and fears of life pushing inward upon our souls as well as our spirits, we have only to seek out nature and a quiet calm surrender within it. When we don’t feed our spirits or our souls with the nutrients of life – the beauty and tranquility into which we can easily escape even for a moment – we deny ourselves an idyllic meditative and prayerful place. Yes, you may encounter imperfections in nature . . you may find yourself in a sneezing fit from flowers that are blooming, or you may find a critter scampering near you that startles you a bit, or you might feel vulnerable just from the sheer quiet. But in truth, I find nature no more or less threatening than the city streets clamoring with traffic and noise.  1_flickr_mathhew_paulson_embed

I escape to the quiet surrender of mountains, streams, deserts, ocean vistas, and meadows. I find such great delight in the quiet of a forest, the gentle lapping of a stream against rocks, the wind caressing the petals of wildflowers in a faraway meadow, the desert filled with cacti unique and surreal. These are the places we have near. For myself, I also have made an effort to surround the house in which I live with those same things . . variations in height for interest, trees to provide shade and shelter for wildlife, the greenery of all variations and types for a never-ending blending of leaves, colors and textures, cacti of all sorts, as well as plentiful flowers to bring scent and beauty with each new bloom. I also have added features with the sounds of water moving and a bird bath to attract nature’s visitors during all times of the year. My goal is to make my yard not only a sanctuary for many of nature’s creatures, but for anyone who is here! I still enjoy greatly my trips to surrounding mountains, streams, lakes, meadows, and wilderness, but at least I have some place to easily escape here too.   20140608-115131-42691870

It’s amazing to me, how even just a block from a major street, life can seem completely tranquil amidst the beauty of nature all around me! I would suggest to everyone who struggles with the stresses of life to create for themselves, even in a small space, a tranquil retreat, a quiet spot to just be . . for nature is an abundant resource for our pleasure! And escape to nature often too . . it awaits you somewhere not too far away! There you will find a great place to calm your nerves, soothe your spirit and to connect with the Creator.    Signature02