When work piles up and deadlines loom large, it’s easy to ignore other matters — like the soul’s need to breathe. Thankfully, nature sometimes remedies that with the long fingers of an irresistable day.

After a marathon weekend of writing, I came to a stopping place and felt drawn to the woods on Monday afternoon: the combination of short-sleeve weather, fall color, and a quiet brook (not to mention the dog) dragged me from my kitchen-turned-work table to the little creek that winds through our neighborhood, and we tramped about it for nearly an hour. 

The brook runs quiet when it hasn’t rained for a while, but small seeps and springs keep fresh water flowing into periodic pools where crayfish hide and minnows stalk the larvae of errant insects. Falling leaves cover most of the water this time of year, a floating carpet holding a wet surprise for dogs who don’t think very much. 

A walk in the woods can do wonders for the soul. The smell of loamy decay that births new life, the rippling dripping of water over a tree root, the slow rain of falling leaves are all like shekels of spiritual gold, freely given by a God whose grace may also run quiet, but deep.

We overachievers have a hard time leaving our productive place for a replenishing space, but such moments, even when they feel stolen, are golden.

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