Talk of mysteries!

Jeff snapped this photo of me on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, June 2012

Jeff snapped this photo of me on Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, June 2012

“Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! The actual world!”Henry David Thoreau

I hope nobody’s getting tired of my going on about nature, but the natural world is a marvel to me that never loses its wonder.  There is simply nothing more effective at ridding me of the frustration, anxiety or depression of whatever burdens are weighing me down.  Getting outside and paying close attention to the things God created puts everything into perspective.

The great thing about it is, I don’t have to travel to a faraway feast of nature such as Acadia or other national parks (although I highly recommend doing that as much as possible).  I can go to a local park, or my back yard.  I can re-pot plants or water my flowers and shrubs.  Even digging weeds while listening to a book on tape is a balm for my spirit (and my neighbors have joked that I’m welcome to dig weeds in their yard anytime!)

Next time you’re at the end of your rope, make time to visit a nearby park, or take a walk in your own neighborhood and try to name the different birds, trees and plants you encounter.  Take along an MP3 player loaded with your favorite music, or a great mystery or an inspiring classic.  Tune in and rejoice!


  1. Naturally.

    • Good morning, thanks for stopping by!

  2. God Morning! Praying & Thank You for the encouragement!

    • Thanks so much! I have a devotional coming up in UR (on March 6 I think) that reminds me of you. You’ll see why when you read it :-). We really appreciate your prayers!

  3. Monte Holland

    We love that neck of the woods. Carolyn’s novel is set just across Frenchman Bay in Lamoine, ME. We hope to get up there this year. We haven’t been there since 2008. Our prayers for you and your family. Monte

    • Thanks so much, Monte. Jeff and I were hooked on Maine the first time we visited. It’s one of those rare places we hope to go back to again and again. The B&B photo on the blog yesterday is a very reasonably priced place to stay if you go to Bar Harbour – and they didn’t pay me to advertise for them ! 🙂 In fact, they don’t even know about my blog. Acadia is beautiful and in the summer months, there is a FREE bus system that covers most of the park on various tours, so no need to pay for one.

  4. Kathy

    Julia, I totally agree with you about nature, and you reminded me of one of my favorite quotes….”Believe one who has tried, you shall find a fuller satisfaction in the woods than in books. The trees and the rocks will teach you what you cannot hear from the masters.” ~ St. Bernard of Clairvaux

    Hope you day is blessed! Kathy

    • Thanks Kathy! Great quote – I might need to use it in a post sometime.

  5. The healing power of nature is SO real!!! Nothing calms me more. God is magnificent and nature is just a dramatic reminder of that.
    Thank you!

    • Thanks Carla. Can’t wait until you see Alaska – you will love it!

  6. Bobby Harris

    Our nature is frozen into a block of ice but as I sit at my computer I can see the eastern horizon as the sky changes from peach to coral to rose to lavender to blue with the trees silouetted against that colorful background. That sunrise is coming a little earlier each day, which is a joy for me. I am overwhelmed by God’s extravagance that I see in nature. I hope your day goes well. You and yours are constantly in my prayers.

    • Bobby, it is great to hear from you and I love the pictures you paint with your words! I too am amazed at the infinite variety of beauty and wonder I see in nature. It is beyond me how anyone could think all this was an accident. Thanks so much for the prayers, they are helping us get through these difficult days.

  7. Great words here. I love taking strolls in nearby parks. The best is getting to that place of inner quietness and just watching what’s around you. Birds, trees, plants, grass, the wind. It’s truly wonderful. I’ve loved nature ever since I started reading romantic poetry in college. The literature helped me realize how special the great outdoors really is. I went to Smoky Mountain National Park on my honeymoon this past August. It was wonderful. I’d love to visit more national parks.

    • I believe the Smoky Mountain park is the first national park I ever visited; we went there when I was a young girl. I still remember how I loved hopping from stone to stone in the creeks, and the relaxing sound the water made. The national parks are all so beautiful and each different from the others. But there also are local and state parks, and other places with no special recognition, that are just full of things to enjoy. So many blessings, so little time! Thanks for visiting.

  8. Sheila

    Julia, you look “on top of the world”! Isn’t it amazing how mellow we become as our character sees us through the years,the good times and the challenges that life presents.
    When a patient asked me for her return appointment today I commented that January is passing so quickly.She told me that her 20+ year old special needs daughter will ask her every morning when she awakens if it’s March yet …. her birthday month. I am blessed every day with something similar. It was just a glimpse into her personal life. I immediately thought of you and your precious Matt. I hope you’ve had a good day. You’re in my prayers,

    • Sheila, thanks for sharing that part of your day with me! Have you read Jewel by Bret Lott? You might really enjoy it. I am so grateful for your prayers.

  9. Sheila

    Oh,Julia…. You have so planted a seed! I can picture that book when you referenced it. I thought I might have it on my bookshelf. I have bought it but never read it… just can’t locate it at the moment. It was an Oprah pick that I bought if memory serves me correctly. We become closer everyday…. Sheila

    • Yes, it was an Oprah pick, but not until a few years after it was originally published. Lott has written an interesting essay about how much it changed his life when Oprah decided to feature his book. You might want to read it after you finish reading Jewel. It’s in his memoir Before We Get Started.

  10. My family and I camped at Acadia National Park during a two-week New England trip we took some years ago. I enjoyed waking up in the early mornings and going to a particular crag to watch the sun rise over the mountaintops, across the ocean. I would do my devotional there. It was such a beautiful place to take in the wonder of God’s creation.

    • I bet sunrise is wonderful at Acadia; sunset too (I’ve only been there during daylight hours). I’m glad you were able to spend time camping there. Thanks for the comment and for visiting here!

  11. One of my favourite quotes is “adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience”. One of my favourite things to do is to walk outdoors with my Ipod and happily sing along like a star….sorry everyone else. LOL

    • I sing along with my favorite tunes while walking, too! I have wondered whether people think I’m crazy. I try to tone it down when I’m passing another person but I know they can’t help but hear me. I read that singing is therapeutic and I believe it.

  12. Funny, I read your whole post again like it was new to my eyes 😀 Goes to show you how much work goes into your blog. Then I came down to comments and voila, I did when you posted. I smiled at something new too, you wrote, “balm for my spirit”. I love that. So many things are for me, it’d be hard to make a list. But definitely, stopping here regularly is balm for my spirit. I hope you know this xoK

    • Wow, thanks so much K, your lovely post over at Boomdeeadda tonight made my day, weekend and week! I appreciate your posting the wonderful video of the Dog and Cat Rescue. I treasure your kind words. I can’t tell you how much your friendship has meant to me! Thanks for spreading joy and happiness!! Love and blessings to you and everyone at Boomdeeville.

      • Truthfully Julia, it’s very easy write with a full heart where you are concerned. I remember turning off my comments back in July when I was struggling with personal stress and you emailed me. I was so touched and you were open and shared your own story too. It meant so much and I really felt less alone. It was a very difficult time and with the help of friends and family we made it and are stronger than ever. What do they say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? True enough. I know you will probably say, “Amen” to that. I’m glad we could help each other this year. The personal cards you take time to send along the way are such a treat too. Everyday is a blessing and I never wants to miss an opportunity to tell someone special how much they mean to mean.

        • Thank you, this means more than you know!! 🙂


  1. The onrush of scenery | Defeat Despair
  2. Talk of mysteries! | Defeat Despair

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