No shortcuts

At the Montreal Botanical Garden, May 2009

At the Montreal Botanical Garden, May 2009

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”Beverly Sills

It may be a long and winding road, but it’s filled with beauty, discovery and enchantment.
Enjoy the journey!

One year ago today:

Unlock the Fullness of Life


  1. Beautiful scene and thoughts; but the eternally spiritual implications of “no shortcuts” are ominous to me – just as is the whole of Matthew chapter 10.

    • It’s true that passage contains some of the hardest words of Jesus, but it is also filled with promise, and its overall theme is “do not be afraid.” He is warning them of rejection and persecution, and history played out just as he suggested it would. Yet he reminds them that not even a sparrow goes unnoticed by God. For me, it feels similar to the situation we are facing now. As the surgeons warned, it’s going to be hard. But God has been with us thus far, and will not leave us now. I really believe that.

  2. HarryS

    I sometimes feel like a cheater when I visit your blog site and don’t contribute but I love your pictures and beautiful quotations so much!

    • Oh, I hope you don’t feel like a cheater, Harry! Haven’t I drawn every quote from the writings of others to whom I have no capacity to contribute? It’s just my way of focusing in on beautiful artistry I did not produce myself — so to have anyone enjoying the photos and quotes is enough! Having said that, I do love the comments 🙂 but please don’t feel you have say anything to be appreciated.

  3. raynard

    Julia There is a old saying about”the shortest distance between 2 points” “By George I think you got it”..( You can now “pass go and collect 200 dollars and snatch up the “get out of jail free card along the way lol). If you are interested to be inspired and encouraged, I have a page on pinerest with a few of my Philadelphia Flower Show pictures from the last few years. I burned DVD ‘s for people and go into “production mode with special effects and music added etc etc etc so on and so forth( I always wanted to say that lol) be encouraged and blessed. Have a great day…

    • Raynard, thanks for the tip! I’d love to see your flower show photos. Maybe someday Jeff and I can even go to that show. We really enjoyed Philadelphia when we were there, and it’s such an easy drive that we often talk of going back. Just the museum alone would be worth the trip! Are you quoting from “The King and I” or Sly and the Family Stone? Either way it’s cool, both bring a smile to my face! Hope you have a fun day today.

  4. Sometimes it is frustrating not to see around the bend or up to the peak but you are right, there is much to enjoy. Counting my blessings at the curves and praying for your journey. I sent you an e mail late last night. Don’t miss it. 🙂 Love you always. This is a beautiful photo. We have only been to Canada a time or two, such a big place. We don’t think we have seen nearly as much as you. A

    • Amy, you lived years in Montana which is sort of the same thing! Hee-hee, just kidding, but you were SO CLOSE, relatively speaking. Of course, this photo was taken on the New England side of Canada. On that particular trip, we drove from east of Montreal all the way to Toronto – stayed in billeting along the way. I love Canada! And I can’t think of any city prettier than Montreal.

      • It is because of our time in Canada we spent some time up there and the parts we were in were lovely but I would really like to get up there to New England side.

        • Well, say no more! You can catch fares to Boston from here, round trip, for less than $100. I guess it’s a sort of remnant of the old Eastern shuttle days. We can easily hop up there for a few days sometime. All we need is unlimited time off…uh, maybe not. But SOMEDAY! BTW, the billeting at Hanscom is very nice, right there in Lexington which is a lovely place and an easy drive to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Canada.

  5. Michael

    They say in some of the villages in Philippines that the Coconut palms are destroyed. Normally coconut palms can bend and yield to hundred mile winds, but they also have a breaking point. Many of the palms were actually uprooted and tossed in the wind. Many of the villages rely on coconuts for their livelihood. They will plant new trees. It takes seven years before they yield- (I guess there are no shortcuts here.)
    Our congregation in Seattle in half Pilipino so it has been on my mind.

    • I had not heard that particular detail, but it is certainly sad to contemplate. The effects of these natural disasters linger on for many years after the initial shock of the storm. I hope that many whose jobs were lost in the storm can find employment in the re-building that will need to be done. We need to keep these folks in our thoughts and prayers long after the news media have left. Definitely no shortcuts through loss of that magnitude.

  6. Sheila

    Julia, I read the comments and marvel at so much support, so many prayers, and most of all, the love for you and your family. You have given so much in this year of “Defeat Despair” and now it’s like blessings pouring back to you. Thank you, Jeff, for agreeing to let us come into your life. That’s pretty hard for a private person! The days ahead may be tough but you’re tougher! Praying so hard, Sheila

    • Thanks so much, Sheila…writing this blog has been a real blessing to me, so I’m very grateful for all the support we’ve had here all year. It is very therapeutic to be “forced” to find beautiful, funny, positive or happy things to write about. And it’s really not hard. Once you start looking, the blessings are everywhere and the hard part is narrowing down to what to write any given day (maybe that’s why I chase so many rabbits here in the comments?) — I am so happy you have been along with us. And yes, I appreciate Jeff for putting up with my sharing so many details. I think he knew from the start that would be part of the package if he stuck with me :-). Keep those prayers coming, my friend – we are definitely in a better place now than when you started!

  7. I have experienced this during many of our trips. The most beautiful spots are all tucked away in the remote areas (safely away from human encroachment?). The journey will be long and tedious and at times we may even wonder if the struggle is worth it. But finally when we reach there we feel rewarded. Such a green, green photo! It has cooled my eyes!

    • Thanks Bindu! I do think the remote spots are unspoiled partly because they are not accessible to those who are rushing about, too impatient for hidden delights. I just love green, especially in nature. I too find it very soothing to my eyes and my soul. I am glad you enjoyed the photo! Thanks for dropping by today. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  8. What a great quote Julia. I like that a lot. Usually, if I try and take short cuts, it turns out worse than ever. Like sewing, I once sewed a sleeve on inside out and when faced with ripping it out and re-gathering, re-pinning and re-sewing, I actually tried to figure out what else I ‘could’ do….ha! There was no shortcut to be had if I ever planned to wear it. I guess I could have tried to start a new trend if I was younger…LOL

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