“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” ― Rachel Carson
We made a second trip to James River State Park while on vacation. The Tye River Overlook was so pretty we wanted to catch it at sunset. It did not disappoint.
This time we walked the river and wetland trails, taking in the beauty of the wildflowers.
On our last visit, we enjoyed the river from the banks at the picnic area. This time we ventured onto the beach. The sound of lapping water and wind whistling through the trees drew a soothing solitary scene for us.
Someone before us had created stone art.
The wetlands, woods, and brush provide cover and food for the birds, bees, rabbits, and deer.
As always, we enjoyed our walk through nature and snapped a few shots here and there.
“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” ~Sophocles Negativity gnaws at the spirit leaving the soul stripped and tangled. Our challenges become problems. We focus on what is wrong rather than solutions. Negativity obscures the benefits of learning and growing from overcoming obstacles. It is one thing to make this an internal choice, but quite another when we deliberately share this with the world. When pessimism spreads it is not good for anyone.
Opportunity hides in the solutions of negativity. When we rise above those low vibrations we find there are good things waiting for us.
Peace does not live in the midst of negative emotions. We have the power to live a positive life. Traveling the road of optimism leads to fulfillment. Living a contented life opens the doorway to lasting happiness.
Most of us know at least one person who thinks the world is out to get him…it seems nothing ever goes his way. Doesn’t being around those types of people weigh you down? The influence of a bad attitude can surely ruin a good mood. Try to avoid them. If you can’t, don’t allow them to suck you in.
Negative thoughts are ego based. The spirit offers affirmation you are enough just as you are. Spirit allows you to be you and to reach for your dreams. You will constantly battle with ego while you settle into the peace of spirit.
Protect yourself by allowing the negative forces to pass by.
Focus on the good things in life.
Be grateful for who you are and what you have.
Love greatly. Laugh often. Live your dreams.
“Be too large for worry; too noble for anger; too strong for fear and too content to permit the presence of trouble. Be so powerful that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.” ~The Optimist Creed
“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.” ― Charles de Lint
There are days you stumble across extraordinary beauty. And then there are days you realize even the most ordinary is beautiful in its right. We walk in beauty daily, but often are too caught up in our thoughts to be aware.
The beauty of life shouldn’t have to be so overwhelming it has to catch our eye. When we sink ourselves into living we find it everywhere. Beauty doesn’t have to be seen. We can hear it in the nature’s melody. We can feel it in a touch, taste it in a home cooked meal, and smell it in the trees and flowers. Beauty is what pleases you. When you begin to see the ordinary in an extraordinary light it can take your breath away.
Today I invite you to experience life and beauty. Look around you. What do you see? Take a deep breath. Look again. Now, what do you see?
As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. – Quoted from Muir Journals (undated fragment, c. 1871) by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945) page 144.
The trail hugs and all but crumbles into the creek in some places so you have to cross the water several times. The water was much lower than when we hiked Saint Marys in 2011, just as gorgeous but thankfully, less eventful. (Click here for the version of Saint Marys, Take One) I’ve hiked many Virginia water trails, but this is the prettiest and most serene. The terrain is not like other local trails, but reminds me of the landscapes out West.
Whether walking the creek or trail, you are surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Trees cling to cliffs.
Life depends on the nooks and crannies of the rock for shelter.
There are many caverns are holes in the rocks.
Within view but off the trails are many screes (rock slides down the mountain).
There are many sets of falls along the route.
This rock slide along with the large falls with the pool below is another swimming destination for many.
This photo puts the scoop to scale.
At this point, Wylie was dog-gone tired!
Indian Pipe along the trail.
You got something to say? Spit it out. Do you feel misunderstood? Are you afraid of what people will think? Is it too painful to bear?
Can you write the words you cannot speak? The unspoken heaviness upon our hearts can often be written as poetry, song, or fiction if not in a journal. It provides a release.
Have you ever heard a song that said exactly what was on your heart? Have you ever heard music that stirred your soul? Have you ever looked at a painting and felt you knew the artist? The power of art is the connection between the artist and the viewer.
The desire to create is a strong urge. Does it begin with love, anger, or pain? Or even confusion? I think art evokes emotion because it was created with emotion. What do you find inspires you to create? Think of a song or piece of art that has aroused a strong response from you. What is the similarity between your response and your desire to create? What is different?
Sometimes we need to speak without saying a word; we just need to let it out. We all have outlets to soothe our souls, and many of them come in forms of creating.
I’ve been writing, sewing, and creating art in one form or another since I was a child. At times I wanted to be seen or heard. Other times I disappeared within my creations. There have been times I’ve thrown my anger into written word or my love into a quilt. My confusion has reared its face upon pieces of fiber art, and wonder has worked its way into the stitches. I’ve even created just to tear it to bits.
And then there’s graffiti. How do you feel about it? Does it depend on whether you see it on a bathroom stall, bridge overpass, or alley way? Does it matter more what or how something is written? Personally, as long as the language is not offensive to the public, I think the colors and styles of script found on bridges etc. can be quite pretty. Why do people write graffiti? Is it because they want to be heard? Does it promote inner healing? Graffiti, is it art or vandalism? What say you?
“One does not climb to attain enlightenment, rather one climbs because he is enlightened.” ~ Zen Master Futomaki
Pinnacle Rock is about the closest to heaven as I’ve come. The hike itself is not difficult, and the tranquility on top is a reward in itself. The beauty of mountains and sky takes your breath away. The air is pure and the wind crisp. This is one of those places which remind you there are too many shades of green and blue to name. You can hear owls call from other mountain tops while watching birds fly both overhead and rustle in the nearby underbrush. The perfumes of the trees range from fruity to floral to spicy to woodsy depending on what gets carried by the breeze. This is a place to question life, to contemplate, to meditate, to pray, to feel connected to something more and to be thankful to be a part of it all.
“The aim of the mountaineer, if he wishes to be an artist in the full sense of word, is neither escape nor “the search for the absolute” as some have claimed, but rather seek that place where “the mystic remains silent and the poets start to speak towards men.” ~Bernard Amy
Wylie, our trail dog, is enjoying her little slice of heaven.
“In a sense everything that is exists to climb. All evolution is a climbing towards a higher form. Climbing for life as it reaches towards the consciousness, towards the spirit. We have always honored the high places because we sense them to be the homes of gods. In the mountains there is the promise of… something unexplainable. A higher place of awareness, a spirit that soars. So we climb… and in climbing there is more than a metaphor; there is a means of discovery.” ~ Rob Parker
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” ~Edward Abbey
Come on, I’ll lead the way!
DirtMan and I just returned from vacation in the mountains. We camped out on the river three nights, hiked three wilderness trails, explored a state park, and enjoyed time with family and friends. As usual we had cameras in tow as well as Wylie. I’ll talk more about the hikes and share those pics later.
Today I just want to share a few bursts of nature’s living sunshine we encountered on the trails. While everything is lush with various shades of green and speckled with confetti of wildflowers, there is nothing as intoxicating as the rushes of orange we encounter along the trails.
Jewelweed, or “touch-me-not”-As a child I used to help my aunt collect these to make an antidote for poison ivy.
Juvenile Eastern (Red-Spotted) Newt
A cluster of orange mushrooms
I dropped my camera a few times along the trails. Fortunately, it did not tumble off any of the mountains, but it did suffer a few minor scratches and dings. This little gadget here, the StrapShot EV1, could have eased my journey and protected my camera. This is a hilarious video about it.