Pleasure in the pathless woods

Our yard and lot in Yorktown, somewhere around 2007

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more…”  —Lord Byron

There’s something very calming about nature that neutralizes the toxic overload of a cold-hearted, techno-crazy world.  I love the serenity of the mountains, the hypnotic motion of the sea, the dazzling colors of a flower garden.  But just as well, or even more, I love my own backyard and the wooded lot we own behind it.  I cannot go back there even briefly without feeling closer to God, as if He is telling me “I am still here, with you.”


  1. Eric Hedden

    This morning finds me venturing, once again, into the mountain forest. To Lord Byron’s words, let me add the first verse of Psalm 121. Some may recognize it as the slogan of the outdoor drama in Cherokee, North Carolina: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

    • Though I was a child when I saw Unto These Hills, I have never forgotten Tsali’s story. I have thought many times in recent years that, were I to choose a Cherokee name for myself, it would be Junaluska – “I tried but failed.”

    • Thank You. Yes, amen. For “hills” are Alive and Active. Bless you with increase in territory for Him and abundant Faith “Count it All Joy” and dance with Joy today

  2. Thank You, Julia. Again, your visuals are a source of encouragement. i follow Hils Word (to renew my heart & mind) “…where ever is lovely…let my dwell on these things.”*Phil.4:9. in prayer today for you & yours in LB Habak.2:3, without ceasing, the Holy Spirit joys in our “pestering” 🙂

    • That’s good – I intend to be doing a lot of that “pestering” as I have been, off and on, for years. I remind myself of the persistent widow in the parable!

      • thank you, Julia, for understanding me, i just reread & didn’t 🙂 guess if i needed any proof that i will say “Yes” when He places something on my heart: is that i continue to share “writing” not concerned that it appears if i’m speaking in “tongues” same thing this am in U R; don’t even want to go back & proof my page in Garden of Hope. again, thanks, sister in Christ.

        • Hi Kate – I haven’t been to Upper Room yet today but I’m sure whatever you wrote will be easy to understand. I appreciate your willingness to write in an age when so many refuse to take the time. I worry about our younger generations who only seem to know texting, but that’s a different topic…

  3. Bobby Harris

    Indiana is putting on it’s winter coat of brown now but there are bits of red and gold left of the fall. Like you, I draw closer to God in His creation. I feel His nearness there more than any other place. Keeping you and yours in my prayers today.

    • Thank you Bobby, it’s lovely to be in touch with you through this site and we really appreciate your prayers.

  4. Hi, Julia, the “texting” and “twitting” also a concern of mine. Having 3 children in their 30’s, i’ve experienced 1st hand the changes in “schooling” especially spelling and vocabulary(knowing the meaning of words). i don’t text (can’t afford the service) but i have joined the “twitters” because i needed to find others interested in elderly abuse and it was the fastest way i could gather info. My challenge is a form of dyslexia where my brain “sees” what is written differently. i try proofing several times; but if “i see it” , i see it and so don’t always catch my mistakes. Have a grandson that has this, new definition “convergence insufficient”; alas, the therapy with a special optomologist is extremely expensive. It affects both His reading and writing. We are blessed with the gift of a “photographic memory” so one word at time is manageable (at least i was until a couple years ago/ now i have trouble accessing the memory file i put that picture in … :). i pray that you found some encouragement for you & your husband in the verses from Habakkuk. It is my life verse as i pray for healing for those who need a Miracle. If you have an opportunity, there is a beautiful young mother, Kara, who needed a double lung transplant; she journaled this in her blog (Kara the Caterpilla). She was blessed with a powerful testimony: Miracles Do Happen. Be Blessed and Shine for Him, my sister in Christ.

    • Hi Kate, thanks so much for the encouragement. I will look up Kara’s blog and keep praying for faith & courage!

  5. Such a beautiful picture, and wonderful thoughts. Please keep your great spirit….God will help you do it!

    • Thanks Carla, for your good wishes and encouragement. God is giving us the ability to cope with all this, and one way he’s doing this is through people like you who are praying for us and cheering us on.

  6. Byron was such a great weaver of words

    • I agree! As with so many poets, he had a troubled life, but he left us with amazing legacy

  7. What a great verse. Me too! Wandering thru the woods or enjoy a breeze near the rolling ocean is gift to enjoy alone or with others. I suppose that’s why people like myself and old neighbours enjoyed living in the country. The city has so many conveniences and culture to enjoy, yet to spend a day in the country is like a renewal. I’m sure that’s why so many pack up their campers and drive away from the city on weekends and holidays.

    • Yes, Jeff and I used to be amazed at how the traffic to and from Lake Tahoe, almost three hours from us in ideal conditions, would literally stretch all the way to the exit near our home on weekends. I can’t imagine anything being worth sitting in parking-lot traffic for hours on end. I got caught in it once or twice coming back from Placerville (a town you would totally LOVE) and said “never again.” But the pull of such places is so strong that people are willing to do what it takes to get there, every single weekend. I think living in remote areas is bound to be far easier now with the internet, Amazon, etc. although slow and sometimes nonexistent connections are a problem. But even with that, it’s so important to “unplug” daily and get totally away from it for awhile.


  1. Especially in the autumn | Defeat Despair

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