Forest Bathing


For the past several years the Great Smoky Mountains has been America’s most visited National Park. Travelers come from all over the world to enjoy Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg’s endless venue of entertainment attractions, and to explore one of Mother Nature’s premier wonders . . . next to Alaska of course 😊

Living here makes October my most labor-intensive month. Local residents, bedecked in vibrant colors, descend on our digs up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > over the ‘crick’ . . .

LEAVES! . . . lotsa’ and lotsa’ LEAVES! . . . zillions of billions of LEAVES!

My best Fall friend is only 3 feet tall. Each morning we meet up to remove the leaves that have smothered our 1/10th mile, 40-degree slope driveway since the day before. To neglect this chore would jeopardize us being able to drive up out of the ‘holler’ to the gravel road leading to civilization . . . I love my leaf blower! 😊

After reclaiming our driveway today, I took a  woods wander along the ‘crick’ for some shinrin-yoku . . . ‘forest bathing’. The Japanese coined this term to describe the practice of getting into the woods for body and mind renewal. I’m not Japanese, but it works for this ole ‘Kraut’!

Studies have shown just three days and two nights in a wooded place increase the immune system functions that boost feelings of well-being for up to seven days. This includes increased awe, greater relaxation, restored attention, and boosted vitality. Among the health benefits are enhanced immunity, reduced cardiovascular disease, fewer migraines, and lowered anxiety. The same three days in a built environment has no such effect.

Sooooooo . . . while leaf-blowing is not one of my favorite activities, I always look forward to my ‘forest baths’ from whence they came . . . and I don’t even have to get wet 😊. Here’s a shinrin-yoku ‘modern art’ pic from today.

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sin for joy.”

Psalm 22:9

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Creation Miracle Moment


Yesterday I stood mesmerized in the forest, immersed in a golden rain. Like a child jubilantly blowing bubbles, a puff of Divine breath launched a thousand gold flakes into the air on their memorial journey to earth . . . a Creation miracle moment.

Embraced in total peace, my soul rejoiced in freedom knowing . . . I am completely known, and I am completely loved . . . just as I am, not as I should be. Thank you Abba.

“I am not what I ought to be.  I am not what I want to be.  I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be.  And by the grace of God, I am what I am.”

John Newton

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

Golden Rain

Rebirth


Temps reached into the 40s as Mother Nature granted a brief reprieve from winter’s arrival. Snow melt transformed to translucent droplets exhuming a colorful re-birth of leaves carpeting the forest floor . . . reminiscent  of the tears Jesus shed to offer all who claim Him as their own a glorious, forever rebirth.

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” –  1 Corinthians 15:55

Leaf Speak


Winter’s approach has stripped the forest whose fallen leaves display beauty in cryonic death, and silently speak endurance to the ‘naked’ wilderness.

In every change, in every falling leaf there is some pain, some beauty.” – Amit Ray

Freeze Frame
Last Leaf

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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!

Soul Therapy


Leaves and temperatures falling in synchrony with winter’s approach . . . invigorating soul therapy for wandering the Last Frontier’s wilderness reaches.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” Here’s a few ‘moments’ that left me breathless today.

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Golden Portal
Bare White Birch
Abba’s Art

But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Lord God my refuge, to tell of all your works.”

Psalm 73:28

Alaskan Gold Rush


There’s an annual two-week gold rush in Alaska that provides unlimited ‘gold’, and everyone can stake a claim . . . Fall 😊😊😊

Golden Aspen Carpet
Fish Lake Gold
Castle Mt. Gold
Trumpeter Swans
Fireweed’s Finale

Seasons Transition


Fresh snow dusting the mountains, yellow tinged leaves . . . Last Frontier signs of Fall all knocking on Summer’s door.

To everything there is a season, and time to every purpose under heaven“. – Ecclesiastes 3:1

Small Wonders


Creation treated me to two small wonders on today’s woods wander.

One, a ‘tree’ delicately inscribed on a fallen leaf. 

The other, lighter than cotton; weigh for weight 5 times stronger than steel; 1,000 times thinner than a human hair; capable of stretching 4 times its length; consisting of 100% sticky protein, it’s manufactured by one of creation’s smallest creatures into intricate designs to capture food . . . spider silk. 

With no blueprint to follow, I watched fascinated as the tiny spider arduously spun its exquisite, geometric web . . . a web of beauty to me . . . a web of death to an unsuspecting insect.


Two small wonders . . . both testifying to an Omnipotent Creator . . . or random evolution? I grieve if you choose the latter.                                +  
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Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!