Perfect Peace

Last weekend we took a drive out to my brother’s home in Winchester, VA. The ride in itself is peaceful, and I always enjoy seeing the hillsides dotted with dairy cows and sheep along the way. As we crossed  over the Shenandoah River, the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains came into view, revealing the slightest hint of fall colors beginning to show along their peaks.

Hidden Treasure

The highlight of my visit is a short walk down the winding path to a hidden gem, a treasure tucked behind a grove of hickory trees. I’ve named it Peaceful Pond, because that is what it is to me. Tranquility. Serenity. Peace-filled.

It is a tiny farm pond, probably only 6 feet deep at its center, and less than an acre in size, but it has abundant life within it and along the muddy banks.

What I most treasure is the sound of the pond . . . a beautiful melodic blend of birdsong and leaves fluttering in the fall breeze. It is the very sound of nature.

And there is an abundance of colorful wildflowers and weeds rimming the pond’s edge, with pink, purple and yellow petals, and plenty of cattails.

We’ve seen turtles and frogs, geese and Red-Winged Blackbirds. The pond is teaming with Largemouth Bass and Bluegill. It is the perfect place to spend an afternoon casting and reeling to your heart’s content. And if you take time to look for them, you will also see the tracks of raccoon, squirrel and deer left in the mud where they stopped for a drink.

We all need a spot like this . . . a place for peace, a getaway when life becomes overwhelming, as it seems to be most days of late. It serves as a reminder that there is peace in the simplicity and perfection of God’s creation.


Yes, these are unsettling times. There is so much uncertainty, so much anxiety and so much stress. Behind our masks, there is fear and anguish. We have lost our way and we each need to find a place of peace.

I am reminded of a verse from the prophet Isaiah:

“You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” — Isaiah‬ ‭26:3‬ ‭

Where can we find “perfect peace”? Is there such a thing?

When I find myself lately being drawn into despair, I turn my thoughts back to Jesus, my Rock and the source of all peace. It is a peace found not only beside quiet ponds in the woods, but in the midst of the chaos around us. His peace is steadfast and ever-present. Be still and trust that God remains in control.

Snow Day!

Happy Wednesday!

It doesn’t matter how long I live in Virginia — I will never get used to having school cancelled with only 2 inches of snow on the ground!

Unlike my former home in Massachusetts, in Virginia they cancel school by county, not by town. Loudoun County spans an area from the Potomac River banks out to the fringe of the Blue Ridge Mountains, roughly 521 square miles. Within that area, you have a wide variation of terrain and temperatures. So, while it may be raining here closer to DC, they will have sleet and freezing rain in the western part of the county. Yesterday’s snowfall was a similar situation.

The photo above was taken this morning from my front door. Since our church administrative offices follow the local school cancellation policy, I have a snow day!


I’m happy to report that the birds — and squirrels — have all discovered our feeders. I have been enjoying my morning coffee while watching their antics.

Here are a few photos from this morning. I apologize for the poor quality, as sun had not yet made an appearance.

Yesterday, our birdbath saw as much activity as the feeders. At one point, there were American Robins, European Starlings and Mourning Doves, all trying to get a drink. Once a Bluejay arrived on the scene, all the others flew away. There is a clear “pecking order” in bird world. (Notice the lone Bluejay on the roof of the bird feeder.)

Many of my friends have given up feeding the birds because the squirrels are so persistent. We have managed to discourage them by using baffles on the feeder stands, and we try to locate the feeders away from trees. We also have one feeder with a weighted perch that closes when a larger bird or animal tries to get in. Squirrels are amazing acrobats though, and can launch themselves great distances to get to some feeders!

One other trick we’ve learned is to simply feed the squirrels. Costco carries large bags of unsalted peanuts in the shell. We always have a bag on hand, and we toss them out now and then. Northern Cardinals and Bluejays also love them! I’ve even seen a tiny Tufted Titmouse carry one away in its beak.

Signing off for now from the snowy tundra of Northern Virginia. 😀