© Jeanne E. Webster
Psalm 55:8 (K J V) “I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.”
Everyone occasionally needs a place to escape the cares of this world, be it a quiet room, a shed, a nook in the barn, a fence post, or a piece of land where nothing intrudes into one’s thoughts and feelings. The burdens of the soul shall melt away whenever one slips into this serene, sacred realm.
For many a year, my place of refuge was a tiny chunk of land resting beside the Flint River. It was merely half an acre, but my, what a busy patch of green!
Squirrels scurried here and there burying their nuts for the long Michigan winters while frolicking rabbits waltzed around the grove of prickly crabapple trees. Gorging on bugs and grubs by the thousands, fat and sassy moles punched the rich, dark loam upward into long tunnels crisscrossing the grassy field. Various ducks and geese nestled along the banks of the rippling, cool water, displaying their beauty and serenity, whereas the feisty kingfishers zoomed overhead, diving into the murky river for their catch of the day. In the early morning foggy dew, a rare deer would come tiptoeing along the lower bank, tenderly chomping down fallen acorns.
Whenever this idyllic wonderland beckoned to my sagging spirit, I’d mosey on down and head for a special old tree along the riverbank. Snuggling down next to its weather worn trunk, I’d silently sit for a while and spiritually blend in with the land. I sensed the spirit of the trees and the grass, the leaves and the dirt, the river and the animals, the wind and the rain, the snow, the fog, and the mist. Within my soul came healing as I rested and communed with God. I’d tell Him all my troubles, my needs and my sins, mention folks in need of prayer, praise Him for all His blessings, and thank Him for His grace. Sighing softly as the tenseness within my weary body slowly ebbed away, my spirit left restored, fully refreshed and strengthened to face anew the matters at hand.
Thank you, Father, for that mystical plot of land that served so faithfully as my refuge many years ago. Those memories shall be treasured forever.