Music to Soothe the Soul

The song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong comforts me much like a warm and fuzzy coat on a cold winter day. I am refreshed by the calmness and stillness that the song  brings forth, like the sound of soft bubbling waters in a brook. It feels inviting and soulful. The song opens with a majestic sound from the trombone accompanied by the piano and clarinet. The audience is overjoyed  which is apparent from the overwhelming  applause. After just a few breathtaking notes, they  know that they are about to hear something truly special. It is pure joy. Life is so sweet through the voice of Louis Armstrong. His depiction sends a message of hope, love, and friendship. It truly resonates with ones heart, mind, and soul.

 What Wonderful World

by: Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I wish I  could say that I had this vision for the world. I don’t always see people and places in this genuinely lovely light.  As he sings “The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky/ Are also on the faces of people going by …” we get a picture of his loving nature towards others.

I love his analogy comparing the colors of the rainbow  to people in the world. It’s  truly astonishing.  To me it means that just like each color has its own strength and personality, he feels that same warmth and expectation in the people that he meets in passing everyday. His lyrics put me to shame, because I don’t see people in shades of color.( Or, in other words, as unique individuals that I am eager to greet and  meet).

 I admit that I often see people stereotypically…or in “black and white.” They are one-dimensional at best.  And I don’t intend to meet their acquaintance.  On a good day, I could say that I see others in gray, which means I am not stereotyping–but I am not operating in love either.

In Matthew 22: 37 -39 God calls us as believers to “Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind.” And to “Love are neighbor as our self.” This was Jesus’s response when asked what the greatest commandment was to fulfill the law. It’s amazing to think that “on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

As I listen to the lyrics in this song, I have a better understanding of how to love God and love others. I can appreciate what God has given me, as Louis does describing  “trees of green, red roses too,”  “skies of blue and clouds of white, ” and ” dark sacred nights.” And I can look for opportunities to show goodness to my neighbor even if it just means showing love by passing by  and simple saying  a genuine “hello” and” how are you.” Just as it is  suggested in the lyrics, “I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do/ They’re really saying I love you.”

Love is often spoken of but not demonstrated, articulated well, or understood.  Yet, in this song, I know what love should look like. The message of love is so crystal clear.

But  the best description of love is described in  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

I hope and pray that I can learn to love like this. “Love never fails” because it is necessary for heaven. In heaven our lives will be without suffering and hurting, and we will no longer in need of things such as knowledge, faith, and hope. But we will need love. Because heaven is a real place and we need to be a people of love when we reside past heaven’s gate. The song “What a Wonderful World” shows me a glimmer of what love looks like and through these lyrics I see a small slice of heaven.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

I Corinthians 13:13

Are you in tune with God?

Piano

 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

(Psalm 100)

 Are you in tune with God? Just as a piano, guitar, or any other instrument needs to be in tune for the sound to be pleasant to the ear, so do  our hearts need to be mended and  binded together with God so that we are in tune to what he would have us do or say.

When I  am going through the storms and trials of life I try to remember to, “make a joyful noise unto the Lord,” and to ” praise the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100). Worship is such a big part of what it is to be a Christian. I believe when we truly just worship him with our voices and instruments there is power in the praises of his people. For example: When Paul was beaten and imprisoned he was praying and singing praises and then there was a  sudden  earthquake and the doors of the prison were open and his chains fell off.

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed (Acts 16:26).

There is nothing impossible for God (Luke 1:37). He is a God of miracles.  He delights in the praises of his people and if can speak the universe into existence then he can surly save the righteous from harm. The story of Paul and Silas in prison speaks volumes to me. If it were me, I am sure I would be questioning my faith but Peter and Silas were singing and rejoicing. They felt compassion for the jailor who tried to kill himself thinking they had escaped so they assured him they were still there. Wow. This means they  were overflowing with God’s goodness in there present circumstance. I am astonished that they would not be running out of that jail cell, but instead showed mercy to their jailor and the jailor immediately believed and asked what he needed to do to become saved. “Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.  And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16: 30).  In the mist of this victory for Paul and Silas God’s grace is poured out on this jailor who believed after these events unfolded and not only did he believe, but his whole family believed.

Maybe, this is the reason that God allowed them to be in jail and beaten. Through their trial God was working a far greater purpose–to save the jailor and  his family. When we are going through a trial we do not know the reason or the outcome but God does! Isaiah 55:8 explains, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord .We never know why we may be going through such trails. Often times when we are ministering to others and being used by God the enemy will attack. The reason Paul and Silas were imprisoned was because of spiritual warfare. For the bible tells us that…

  We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12).

Paul cast out  a demon from a slave girl that was being used by her masters to gain money because she was “possessed by the spirit of divination.”  In other words she was able to know the future and was a fortune teller for money. Whenever God’s work is being done the “principalities, powers, and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” are at work trying to devise a plan to shut us down, discourage, block, or harm us. Although we never see this battle being fought, we often see the effects and can be at peace to know that the fight is not ours because “The Battle belongs to the Lord”    (1 Samuel 17:47). You may be going through a hard time. You may have lost your job, suffered medical problems, have martial problems, or something else. But God, who is rich in mercy, who sent his only son to die on the cross for our sins, knows the beginning and the end of our story.

I am writing this for myself because I need to hear this, read this, and  study this. I need hope because in the midst of my messy life and overwhelming circumstances I need to know there is a Savior that loves me and would break the prison doors open for me too, if I needed them to be broken.While I wait for this season of trial to end, I know this “All things work together for the good for those that are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28), so I can let my burdens rest in his Hands by ” casting all my cares upon Him” because he cares for me and you too (1 Peter 5:7).

 And remembering Peter’s and Silas story I will try my best to lift my head up to Heaven knowing that He is my Redeemer.

And  my ever present help in times of trouble.

 

The Waters so Still

still waters 33

I wrote this poem to describe how refreshing and healing the waters can be to ones soul.

When my Soul Needs Soothing

When my soul needs soothing, I play the guitar,

slow rhythmic songs that require repetition of chords

that counteract the rapid beating of my heart and the

shaking of my hands.

The strumming of the guitar comforts me, calms me,

soothes me,

as I begin to sing songs that I love,

and songs that I’ve heard a million times before.

My heart begins to lift,

the lump in my throat begins to loosen,

and my shaking from my hand steadies.

I sing a song inspired from Psalms 23

He leads me besides the water, so still. Let me

catch my breath. Let me drink my fill. Let me lie in fields of green

where only gentle breezes flow

and I’ll reach out my empty hand for the cup

that over flows. Restore my soul.”

When my soul needs soothing, I call my best friend,

older and wiser, she gives the best advice.

Gleaning from her own experiences, she gently listens

as I let the sorrow out of my soul and spirit.

I am then ready to let the healing process begin.

As my true friend, she is never afraid

to speak the truth in love.

Her words are comfort, as apples on a fine day.

When my soul needs soothing, I pray.

I ask God to give me guidance and help

throughout the day,

When my soul needs soothing, I hold something precious in my hand.

A stone I’ve kept for memories, a special gift, or a photo

that evokes a loving memory.

I wrap myself up in something warm,

my sister’s hand-me-down bedspread,

the quilt my grandmother made for me,

or the green and red precious-moments blanket,

my friend from grade school made me as a present.

When my soul needs soothing, I cry until there are no

tear drops left to fall on my pillow.

Exhausted from the emotional drain of energy,

my body sinks deep down into the bed covers.

I fall asleep. I wake up the next day

fresh and ready to start a new.

When my soul needs soothing, I go to the oceans, lakes or my backyard pool.

I dive into the cool rushing water

and feel my body temperature change from warm to cool.

The water refreshes and calms me

as I swim each stroke. The deeper I swim underwater

the further away I become

from the sorrow  in my soul. I step out of the water and lie beside it,

in a lounge chair,  relaxing

as I feel the sun’s rays dry my skin

and let the warmth touch deep down

past my skin

into the depths of my soul…

and I am restored.

Ever Present Help in Times of Trouble…

Woods

Each and ever day I need God’s strength to make it through. I cannot predict the future. I face many different decisions throughout the day. There are roads not taken…and some chosen…each with their own bends and twists in the woods that lead us to another unknown place.  Robert Frost wrote a poem describing the dilemma each of us face in the array of choices presented to us each and every day.

The Road Not Taken  1874–1963

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stoodWoods bridge
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost explores the theme of choice.  Yet, there are so many interpretations of how Frost is exploring this theme.  Does it mean that all choices in life our sometimes equal?  For example, the poem suggests that both choices are “just as fair.” Or does it mean that some choices impact us in ways that make “all the difference.” I really do not know. I think the unknown combined with the idea of the dilemma’s we face creates the complexity and  intrigue of this well crafted poem. It is a common but exquisite metaphor, that the speaker is in the woods, a place where we may be scared and in need of safety  from any danger that can approach our way. As I think about my own life,  I often think of a decision I made and don’t see the impact until time has passed. As Robert Frost suggests, in the lines, “I shall be telling this with a sigh/Somewhere ages and ages hence,” it is hard to see, in the moment,  the result of a road taken or not taken. For example, how can any of us know if it was the right decision to change careers, start a family, move across the country?  It isn’t until a significant time has passed that the outcome becomes clear.

Woods Waterfallgreen barn

I am intrigued by these lines in the  poem:  “Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted I would never go back.”  Robert Frost is suggesting that many opportunities may never come around again once we pass them by.  I don’t believe this is true.  Through hope, and determination, and hard work we can revisit paths me may not have been able to walk down before. We should not live in fear. If we are thoughtful and have two choices, sometimes neither can be wrong. Some may be more difficult; however, as this anonymous quote suggests: “The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.” If you are ever given two options that are difficult to chose between, you can rest at ease. If we stumble, we may just return, all the more stronger and wiser, to that fork in the woods where we can take the path that we missed. It is never to late to begin again…

Deers in the woods

 

My own version of ” The Road Not Taken” by: Robert Frost

Choices

Although the choices we face in life may always be

filled with doubt, indecision, or regret

It is never to late

Our  life is full of decisions that must be made

but yes, we can always return to another day

Filled with new possibilities

To find love in unknown places,

To find the happiness and the fulfillment we need,

To find a resting place just like home.

Home is where the Heart is. Where does your heart lie?

Small birdhouse

How do we rest and find peace in the mist of the endless bends and twists in this road called life? I rely on God. Psalm 46 reads,” God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble.”  Thus, whatever path I chose I can find rest in this,” … Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”Joshua 1:9

Stones of Rememberance

Rocks

While shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday, I bought a stone. I usually find them and then paint them, but this stone was perfect, so I bought it! I loved the color, the texture, and the word inscribed. It looked similar to the rocks pictured above and the word written on the rock I chose was “hope.” Through this rock, I was praying and hoping for a season that is filled with good dreams, bright days, new friendships, and good health.

The movie, “The Long, Long Trailer,” which takes place in the  1950’s, depicts a newly wed couple and their travels across the country. The conflicts in this marriage begin sooner than one would suspect simply because they take on such big goals. It’s always good to have a plan but sometimes we need to be realistic and start out slow. Their first mistake–which so many of us make–was financial. They invested in a trailer. Their next mistake was communication. Literally, and figuratively, in every way, shape, and form, these two people could not communicate with one another. In the beginning, it was sweet, but then things started to get ugly.

Lucy and Ricky
The reason I am reminiscent about this short film is because of the scene were Lucy decides she wants to save rocks for memory sake. But Ricky, her husbands says–no way Jose–because it would make the trailer too heavy to go over the hills. The lighter the load the easier the drive. But Lucy just simply could not let go. So she took it upon herself to find a solution and she hid the rocks from Ricky. Problem solved. No…here’s what happens next:

The road began to get ever so bumpy, and then… scary! Ricky, nervously…cautiously drove this trailer up a upaved mountain road. The entire time unaware that Lucy had hid the rocks in the trailer because she could simply not let them go. They came tumbling out and Ricky did find them, and then he nearly blew his top, having been so mad. In the end, they made it through the dangerous mountain road. Although their mountain path was cleared, their relationship was now the one on the rocks.

I love stones. I like to remember the times when God has been good to me in my life. In the book of Joshua the Lord instructed him –after they were freed from the pharaoh in Egypt and passed the Red Sea– to collect stones of remembrance.
Joshua 4 New International Version (NIV)

1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

Seasons of trials, blessings, or storms, I like to remember special places. I too collect stones although not as many as Lucy–but I can relate to her sentiments.  Remembering the places we have been with stones is a great idea…but moderation is also important. This film is hilarious and truly a classic.

Below is the trailer for the film, “The Long, Long Trailer.”

 

Photo Credit (stones) : Kathy Fornal

Flowers Bloom with Love, Peace, and Joy

hope-quote-2

As my husband and I placed the finishing touches on our living room, I stepped backed and felt relieved. It was finally done. The remodeling project had taken more time than originally anticipated. So today, my plans were to do something creative with the outside of my house. And I decided to work in the flower garden.

1024px-Stockholm-lilac

Happy to be outside for a change–instead of smelling freshly primed paint–I breathed in the smell of Lilac flowers. After wandering through Lowes, I finally decided on Lilac, a lavender scented flower with purple and rose tinted petals. As I planted the Lilac flowers in my newly soiled planter, I began to smile as the beauty of the flowers brought a laughter to my heart. I suppose you could say this was joy. I know that my planter has been empty for at least one to two years now. And for this same time or season there has not been much joy in my heart or in my home. But things are changing for the better.

2006-08-19-native-lilac

I am happy that through the grief and through the struggles, I am know able to rest and truly have peace and love  in my heart, which has not always been the case.

Rejoicing in this new day…

inspirational-bible-verses-131

The Blank Canvas

A New Beginning…

Home Inspirational words

Retrieved from (http://www.photoswithquotes.com/bloom_where_you_are_planted_333.htm)

Home. What comes to mind when you hear this word? Right now, for me, it means redecorating; My husband and I are redecorating the living room. Now that we have lived in the house for five years, it’s time to do a little remodeling. My house hasn’t been painted or richly decorated since we moved in.  Replacing old and borrowed items with newly chosen decorations and fresh paint is like a dream come true. I am so excited to begin this summer  journey…

Presently, my living room is filled with a dark chocolate paint from the previous owners. We have made the most of it, but it has always darkened the mood of the room. We brighten it with our decorations and laughter, but what it really needs is a fresh coat of  paint  that is a cheerful color. We chose a blue color called Colorado Springs. Our inspiration came from beautiful photos we came across of different Cape Cod décor. We liked the feeling of those living rooms filled with different shades of  blue and white accents with beach themed attire and decorations. We wanted to bring that calm and serene feeling into our home.

The first few days of painting we were both rejuvenated.  Especially when the primer fully covered the brown walls and all you could see was white. After five years of dark brown, I was estatic to say the least. And then I begin to think…

Although, we have been married for eight years my husband and I were  beginning a new chapter in our life. We both are starting different teaching positions in the Fall. I as a 2nd grade teacher; he as a middle school teacher. Reflecting on this passage from Ecclesiastes 3:3-8, there is “… A time to weepAnd a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance…” reminds me of both my past and present seasons. I  have felt great grief in the past few years. And lately, I am experiencing a time of blessings and I am truly grateful for God’s goodness. As a new season unfolds, I am hoping to see  blooms of love, joy, and peace…

I am embracing the present and letting go of the past. Ecclesiastes 3:3 (NIV) reads, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaves” which reminds me of this truth.

Whatever the season, for good or bad, I pray that I can learn to be content and at peace knowing that God is ultimately in control. I am not there yet, but I know I am a work in progress; God is continuing to shape me, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…” Jeremiah 18:6 (NIV).  Likewise, Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)  further explains, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father we are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”  

Bebo Norman’s song ” The Hammer Holds,” illustrates this in a somber and eloquent way: God is constantly shaping us. And when we endure hardships and trials in our life, it is part ot the Maker’s plan. By purifying our hearts, just as gold is refined in fire ,the songwriter expresses the pain of being purified. Yet knows, God is good; this pain is necessary. This  song  comforts me knowing when I am going through a difficult time that it is an intricate  process as God is handcrafting  me for His purpose. The first verse to the song, “A shapeless piece of clay… that’s all I came to be… but this hammer pounds…”

“The Hammer Holds” by: Bebo Norman

As the  smell of  freshly scented paint filled the air, and I  looked at my white newly primed walls, waiting to be splashed with color. I realized my life is a canvas. I can paint on it anything that I so chose. Just as a painter selects a new scene to draw and new colors to paint with I draw on the blank canvas of my life, each day, and make a beautiful piece of art.

The blank canvas before me…

white canvas

                                                                      and the blank canvas  in front of you…

A Father’s Day Benediction

Spiritual Father's Dy photo kid and dad

Dear Jesus,

I know that the definition of a father in our culture most often is referred to as the biological connection between a father and son. Yet, I know so many men that may not have bore a child of their own but are deserving of this title even more so then those that may have a biological child. My husband is a great mentor to kids that come from a poor neighborhood. As a teacher, he is concerned about their academic success. He plans lessons diligently and with care to best meet the needs of all the students in his classroom including ethnicity, socioeconomic background, gender, etc. He provides them a safe nurturing environment for them to play games in his classroom after-school, on his own time, taking into consideration the skills he can teach them on a mathematical-logical level in his choice of games. I love him dearly and I honor him as well. I know that he is a dad to so many for a short season as he is investing so much into their development as future leaders. Lord, I ask that you would please bless my Husband on this day for all he does because in my eyes he is a dad!

Sincerely,

A Loving Wife

Spiritual Father's Day

Link

Dreams

Dreams

Susan Boyle, sings "I Dream a Dream” auditioning for the chance to fulfill her dream of becoming a well-known singing. This is a modern-day story of a fairy tale come true. And it happened overnight!

Susan Boyle’s first audition in Britain’s Got Talent

Do others laugh and are cynical about your dream? If not, I would say your dream is not big enough! How far are you willing to go to see your dream come to pass? It’s never to late to succeed Susan Boyle’s story illustrates just that! Langston Hughes, wrote a wonderful poem about dreams called “A Dream Deferred.” Don’t let others laugh at your dreams. Instead you be the one smiling and having a heart full of laughter as you see your dream come to pass!

Harlem [Dream Deferred]
What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Langston Hughes

“A Dream Deferred,” by Langston Hughes, illustrates what happens when are dreams are put on hold – in a silly and sweet way. This poem is powerful. The idea of our dreams disappearing is represented in the line “Does it dry up.” Sometimes this happens, they  get soaked up because life leads on and takes us down paths that we can never venture back too. Some dreams are so embedded in us that they hurt “Or fester like a sore.” It is as though when we postpone what we are called to do we suffer in our heart, mind, and soul. But, the best line of the poem is the last -“Or does it explode.” I hope our dreams do just that. They take root deep in our heart and manifest themselves in our lives in extraordinary ways.

Sarah Boyle, is a modern-day example of a dream deferred. She waited until her 40’s to actively pursue an opportunity to become a successful singer. Or may I suggest, that this was the time for her dream to manifest? Sometimes are dreams come to pass at a time different from imagined but they do eventually explode as illustrated in Sarah Boyle’s case. She became a success over night…

What happens to our dreams? ( Inspired by A Dream Deferred, by Langston Hughes)

Do we forget,
Or do we regret,
Does it become something fresh or never manifest
Does it float way like a cloud and then eventually
rain down from…
Heaven gates?
High Above in the Sky
It rains it pours
and we can no longer ignore…
Then we float away
and met our dreams
at heaven’s doors
where we then see clearly
the vision of our self
what we were always meant to be! Quiet possible?
Or maybe it dies in our sleep and we become all the more
relieved that it was never really meant to be a dream.

My thoughts are best represented by this quote,: “Sometimes on a way to a dream it gets lost and we find another one.”

Reflect and Respond

What happens to a dream postpone…is it always put on hold… or does it eventually unfold? What is keeping you from actively pursuing your dreams? Is it worth postponing another day? Or,is there a way to see your dreams come to pass today? My prayers are that God will always guide and lead the way…

” Your word is a lamp to my feet; And a light to my path” (Psalms 119:105)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Rainbow
“A place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…” (Dorothy, Wizard of OZ)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Judy Garland (1939)

Home is where the heart lies… Where does your heart lie…?

I find my heart in two places- in my home and my desire for some adventure. I hope to have both! I wrote this to describe a place that was very much like home to me. It is my version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

The Lighthouse

The rustic, chestnut cabin was surrounded by dirt trails that paved the way through endless dark green pine trees . One trail led to a small, quaint picturesque beach front on the lake which had small paddle boats and a restaurant filled with exquisite seafood, where you could smell the fresh fish as you walked a short ways away from the shore.

Camping was also permitted and tents engulfed the beach, with small campfires and the smell of marshmallows at night roasting on the crackling fire. There was a pier, that led out past the shallow, shore of the beach into the deeper, blue waters of the lakefront . The lighthouse was white, with red and navy blue accents, it had one square window, and a spiral, wooden staircase. It stood on a firm foundation of granite rock and lighted the lake for the villagers boats the circled the water.

The light continued to glisten off the water when everything was dark in the camp at night. The light permeated across the town and provided a constant guide to navigate ones way in the dark depending upon how bright the light was.

This rustic, chestnut cabin had nothing grand inside. It had dirt floors, two metal bunk beds, and a small white dresser table. The bathroom had an oval tub and a sink with no counter, which left little space to prep ones hair and make up for the day.

Yet, it provided a home a space to lie my head at night as I breathed in the mountain air and as I bask in the sun with a book, lying in a beach chair close to the serene lake. The mountain trails where my escape, where I rode a bike to town while the wind would run through my hair. The candy store sold homemade ice cream, gourmet coffee, and chocolate truffles. The clothing store sold seashell necklaces, flip flop sandals, and tank tops with beach print.

While some may feel their homes need to be filled with several bedrooms, dining room, family room, a grand kitchen, and backyard with a white picket fence. My favorite home had only room to lay my head, as I roamed around a town, a lake, and the forest. Exploring the beauty of the outdoors, as I watched the glistening light from the lighthouse that beamed across the trees, mountains, and paths at night.

Reflect and Respond

How would you describe your home? Does it have a white picket fence, family room, kitchen etc., or is your home in some special place- like I described above? Maybe, your heart is in two places- between home and adventure? We would love to hear about your special place you call home. Home is where the heart is…