When I walk out here, the first thing I hear is silence. In the midst of my crazy-wazy life filled with the ting of a text, the zing of a message, the chimes of a call, the voices of my family, the din of the TV, the to-do’s calling to me in my head, I walk out here and there is the absence of all that noise.
I can close the door from the house to the porch, so no on even knows I’m here. Nobody follows, and for a moment I am alone – alone with my thoughts, my heart, and my Creator.
And He has such incredible surprises for me. After a moment or two of me trying to regain a normal breathing pattern, one that isn’t stressed, or hurried or worried, I realize it isn’t silent out here at all.
I hear the rustle of a squirrel scampering through the woods. An unseen bird calls shrilly to a friend. The friend whistles back. A woodpecker rat-a-tats the bark of a tree.
The earthy smell of soil mixed with the sharp tart scent of leaves heated by sunlight fills the air. The warmth of natural sunlight soothes my skin after the mechanical blast of air conditioner running through my house, my car, the mall.
Here – away from the artificial noise and manufactured smells and machine powered air – there is peace. Reds and pinks and yellows and oranges shade the sky with spectacular sunsets. Light filters in dusty streams through branches. Greens so bright, they almost appear lit from within stagger along my line of sight.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m extremely attached to my iPhone and my Mac. I’m thankful for AC on a 93 degree steamy summer day. I love my car, my house, my family and the mall. But sometimes it’s all too much. Sometimes I need a retreat. And here it is, steps away from my life.
Here, I can contemplate what God’s calling me to do today – who He needs me to forgive, what He wants me to let go of, how He wants me to trust Him, how I can be an example of His love. Here, there appears to be a path right through the woods that leads to Him.
I cannot stay out on my porch forever. I need to live my life and do that forgiving, letting go, trusting and loving God calls me to do. Not to mention those to-do’s that still need to be to-done. But, I can find a moment to come out here and get refocused, refueled and refreshed.
Do you have a special place to find a moment of peace and clarity? Where is it?
Laura L. Smith