The weather may have been freezing cold this weekend, but I was determined to spend some time outside, appreciating nature. Here in Pennsylvania, we are lucky to experience the change of seasons. And I try to see the beauty in all of them.
I take my Girl Scouts on a wonderful camping trip every year on the weekend before Thanksgiving. Here are a few of the scenes I found at our lovely hide-away in the woods.
During the summer, this lake is filled with swimmers and boaters. But on the verge of winter, it is already frozen over. Even the waves by the lake’s edge seemed to have been frozen right as they were about to break.
It’s fascinating that as winter approaches, some plants in the woods are already preparing for spring. The cold air curls the leaves of the rhododendron bushes, as though they are wrapping themselves tight against the frosty air. Clusters of dead flowers still cling to the plant. But the new blossoms have already formed and wait to explode in the warmth of June.
The lake is encircled by hundreds, if not thousands, of rhododendron bushes. They have grown massive over the years. Along one section of trail around the lake, the bushes form a canopy overhead. What a sight it must be in the spring!
I think I would have been tempted to take a kayak out on the lake had it not been frozen over! Though, no paddles were in sight, so that might have been difficult.
Nearby, a marshy bog had frozen over. The ice was smooth and perfectly clear. It was like peering through glass at the forest floor trapped beneath. What living things could be under there? Will they be strong enough to survive these harsh conditions?
Nature is full of resilience. And so are we. A walk in the woods reminds me of this. Our frozen hearts can be revived. We are strong enough to outlast the harshest winter of the soul. Our spirits can bloom again, stronger, wiser, and more beautiful than ever.
© Vulnerable Path, 2014