|Early morning fog over the Mississippi River Valley|
Yesterday we experienced an abundance of sunshine here in Southeast Minnesota, but while the temperature was a bit cooler than the beginning of the week, it was so nice to have the sun out with blue sky’s overhead.
When driving to breakfast as I do every Saturday morning to be with my two friends, Dick and Gerry, I noticed a wonderful harvest moon just over the bluffs. It drew my attention away from the day and made me want to just stop and enjoy the beauty of the moment. I find myself so many times grabbing my camera to get a photograph of something that catches my eye, that perhaps is missed by some in their busyness of carrying on with their day with all the demands put before them. I find at times it is good to stop and “smell the roses.” Many of us are filled with demands that seem almost overwhelming at times. We think, “If I get one more thing laid upon me, I am going to scream!” During these times if it is possible, walk away from what is bothering you, and go to a place that brings you peace of mind. If you are a mom or dad with a small child that is struggling with a need, and you find yourself not able to think anymore, close the door if possible (that is if the child is safe alone, as in a crib), and walk to a room that is quiet and collect yourself. I don’t know how many times I did that with our children when they were small. It kept me from raising my voice and saying things that I would perhaps later regret.
|Cardinal weathering the storm|
At work it might be a different story for many of us. For myself, I found that in running an Alternative school in educating At-Risk children, the best place for me to cool down and collect myself was walking on the sidewalk outside the school. Sometimes I just visited my secretary’s office and I sat and chatted with her for a while, all in order to relax, get my mind off the problem and later to gain perspective as well. For those of you working in factories or companies where there are many individuals all around you, it might be more challenging to find a quiet place. Rest rooms might be a good place to get away, lunchrooms or the pop machine area to name just a few. When I was working in a big building overseas in the Army, I found going to a friend’s desk and talking for a period of time helped to distract us both and allowed me to refocus on the problem I was facing when later going back to my desk.
|Female Cardinal during the storm|
When my soul is distraught, my thoughts purposely go back to a time when I was muzzle loader deer hunting on the prairie near a body of water called the Little Sioux River. (There is a special deer hunting season in Minnesota for those that want to use guns and equipment from the time period of around the 1830s and 1840s.) One day while hunting, just after a blizzard, I sat down near a tree to rest. Since I had been walking many miles that day through heavy snow and tall blue stem grass, I became very tired. While relaxing my weary body, I looked up to see an open pool of water amidst the ice and snow. The water flowing from a small creek to the river left me almost lulled to sleep when listening to the bubbling stream reaching the surface. As I relaxed my eyes, I spotted something unusual, a mink coming up out of the water sitting near the edge on the ice. I watched it without moving around, knowing that if I even breathed loud, it would be gone, back into the depths of the flowing river. The whole scene captured my attention, and at that very moment, I found so much peace and joy in my surroundings and with God as well, that I go there in my heart when my soul is troubled.
|Male cardinal on the willow branch during the snow storm|
During these times of stress, I seek God and ask him to still my soul and mind as I go back to that one moment in time that brought me so much joy and peace, when I was sitting beside the gentle flowing waters. In the Bible, David relates how God calmed his soul when he was troubled. He writes in Psalms 23:2 “he leads me beside quiet waters.” God will calm your heart and soul when you ask him. Find a quiet place whether in a physical location, or even from your past. Seek God and he will meet you there and you will find peace for your troubled soul.
May God's peace find you this day, Augie
Photos: Taken near our home.