let it shine

Author: angiem, 07 10th, 2010

A quarter of a mile up the road from our house, the woods begin.  On a hot summer day, we grab our water bottles and sweaters, and head out.  Within five minutes we’ve left the city behind, with its noise, its traffic, its suffocating heat.  We follow the dirt path that meanders through the firs, the jasmine, and the wild blackberry bushes, the only sound that of the gurgling stream, and birds calling to each other.

The deeper in we go, the cooler it gets.  We don our sweaters and button them up.  The kids race up ahead, my son gathering salmonberries, naming ferns and mushrooms, my daughter picking wildflowers she presents to me, or down to the stream looking for salamanders.  They jump from one rock to another, wanting to be the first to get to the opposite shore.  I watch, my heart in my throat, and caution them.  My husband laughs and tells me to relax.  He goes to join them, a protective hand hovering above the little one.

Finally we arrive at remains of the old Stone House.  This is our turning point.  Husband and I sit on a log, quench our thirst, and the little ones prepare to put on a show.  The old stone structure is their castle, the forest their kingdom, their dad and I, their subjects.

On our way back down, I offer up a little prayer of gratitude.  For my beautiful family, for the magic of childhood, for the trees, and the flowers, and the sun, and the air we breath.  I am amazed and moved to tears.  It is in the midst of nature that I feel closest to God.


32 Responses to “let it shine”

  1. Ange Says:

    Ah Angie- it is in the midst of nature that I feel closest to God too. Seems we like doing the same things ;-)

  2. ema Says:

    i love reading your blogs and yes we feel closest to God in nature because he is there in everything!

  3. Mwa Says:

    I love that feeling.

  4. Jeanne Says:

    Ok..tears started here:

    On our way back down, I offer up a little prayer of gratefulness. For my beautiful family, for the magic of childhood, for the trees, and the flowers, and the sun, and the air we breath. I am amazed and moved to tears. It is in the midst of nature that I feel closest to God.

    Beautiful Angie…I just love your writing and I know I say that every time but it says it all!!

    Jeanne xx

  5. Janna Qualman Says:

    Angie, this is so lovely. Thanks for sharing the experience, the feeling, with words.

  6. Jessica Says:

    Me too, Angie!
    Sounds like a beautiful time. :-) I wish I knew the names of things. I know nothing about what’s in my woods.

  7. Ava Says:

    Your words express so much what I feel Angie. Oh you made me cry with this post.

  8. Ligia Says:

    Beautiful… You are such a great writer, you transport us all to the place, the smell, I feel the temperature, and then you make us feel what you feel… the love and the magic of the family… I am out of words for you…..

  9. Mary Moon Says:

    You’re so lucky in so many ways, not the least is that you already know what is important and how to share that with your children.
    Lovely, Angie. Just beautiful.

  10. belledeville Says:

    What a lovely way to spend the day with your family. Many years from now your children will look back at these hikes to “their castle in the woods” as something magical.

  11. Ruth Says:


  12. Corinne Says:

    Angie, this was such a gorgeous read. Outings like that make some incredible memories, though I’m not sure if it’s really for the kids or the parents :)

  13. Gigi Says:

    I love the sense of traveling deeper and deeper into the woods with you. I know this feeling well, and I love how you capture it, Angie. That detail of donning sweaters and buttoning them up is just right. xo Gigi

  14. Lori Says:

    Sounds like great memories for your children. Something I have been planing to incorporate into our weekends but never really got to do it. Maybe this will give me a push.

  15. Becky Ramsey Says:

    What a sanctuary for you and your family!
    I could almost feel the mist and the coolness.
    What a lovely post. Thank you!

  16. La Belette Rouge Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous. Nature is more beautiful than any church. xo

  17. Susu Paris Chic Says:

    In the midst of nature I also sense the Lord. Very present. And pray. Thank. For many things. Like your friendship, so sweet and encouraging …even if “just cyber”.

  18. Elisa_Croatia Says:

    As a kid,we often played outside our backyard in Mexico .we had a huge tree and long branches, My sisters and I used to pretend that the ‘ogro” lived there. It was so much fun, nothing like using our imagination

    as i read your story, i could smell nature.

  19. Susan R. Mills Says:

    I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed your beautiful posts. I’m glad I stopped by. Little darlings and nature are sure signs that there is a God.

  20. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita Says:

    It looks and sounds beautiful! You always take us to a special place!

  21. audrey Says:

    my dear, each story, your words and descriptions seem to dance across the page creating the sweetest stories. you bring us there with you into the woods, to share with you and your beautiful family. very nice!!

    sending hugs your way!!

  22. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    I want your forest!
    I clicked on the photo just to soak in it a little…
    with your words, and the love you exude,
    it doesn’t get much better

  23. Mama Zen Says:

    I want a castle!

  24. Diane Says:

    Sounds so lovely and peaceful! The more I hear about all the wonderful times your family has together, the more jealous I am… :O)

  25. mrsbear Says:

    What a lovely feeling to share on a day out with the family, just the magic and the wonder of it all. A fantastic blessing.

  26. Holly L Says:

    Your writing is so eloquent this trip sounds like a fairy tale! The wonder fo childhood is my most favorite thing in the world!

  27. laura Says:

    How lovely to have such a place in your back yard! It is so beautiful, Angie. And you took me there with your words.

    I hope summer is still sweet for you. I can’t believe how quickly it is passing me by.

    Sending love.

  28. Christie Says:

    I love that in reading of your gratitude for life and family, I am reminded of my own.
    Life is good.

  29. Alice: writer, traveller, dreamer Says:

    I read a quote somewhere once, along the lines of:

    “to really understand ourselves and life, we must spend time in nature…”

    This quote is one I think of often, because for me (and you) it is so unbelievably true. And I think it is because we are at the mercy of nature, we can’t control it, and therefore we can truly be ourselves within it.

    “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

    What a great feeling, to appreciate what we have :-)

    Alice x

    PS. have enjoyed catching up with your beautiful writing… both non-fiction and fiction.

  30. Francesca Says:

    true, but today I’m missing the city.

  31. Crystal Says:

    Oh wow, that was beautiful Angie. I just love the way you write, it all sounds so magical. You’ve inspired me to plan a little family outing like this to enjoy all the beautiful creations of God.

  32. Autumn Says:

    Awwww, this was so very beautiful Angie and so very true! Nature is one of the ways to feel that closest to God. I love being near the water. It is what really makes me feel very close to God. :)

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