Blessed are those who trust in the Lord; the Lord will be their trust. They are like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: It does not fear heat when it comes, its leaves stay green; In the year of drought it shows no distress, but still produces fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
(Photo: Carriage trail bridge over New Duck Brook, Acadia NP)
This is the Lower Waterfall in Hocking Hills. We visited there at the end of last December. I think the picture is somewhat deceiving because it doesn’t look a bit like winter to me. I suppose all of the trees in the photo are evergreens. It was not a very cold day, in the 40s as I recall. But I was not remotely tempted to get into this water, as inviting as it appears.
It is often said that looks can be deceiving. An important principle to remember when trying to make decisions about our future. People are not always as happy as they look. Struggles can be very rewarding. Point A to Point B is not always a straight line.
We stopped to spend the night in Asheville, NC on way to Kiawah this year. We met up with our son and his wife, also driving to Kiawah. We got up early the next morning and went for a hike on the Looking Glass Trail. This is a photo of the Looking Glass Falls which are close the the trailhead. The falls could be heard easily during the beginning of our hike, but quickly faded away.
It reminds me that to hear God, we need to remain close to God. What does it mean to be “close to God”? Regularly spending time in prayer, seeking God with our heart, loving our neighbor.
There are many sayings that are reminders that it is easy to be misled by what we see. Sayings such as “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This photo reminds me of another one: “small but mighty.”
This is Old Man’s Creek going over the Lower Falls in Hocking Hills Park. This creek is responsible for creating Old Man’s Cave, which is not truly a cave but rather a very large recess in the rock. The gorge carved by the creek is over 1 mile long. The park has over 2 million visitors a year.
This is the lower falls of the Yellowstone River. Impressive even from almost a mile away. While we were there, I was able to experience the falls from the top and hike to the bottom of the falls as well as seeing them from the distance. Different aspects stand out from the different perspectives. It is dizzying to be at the top and look down. At the bottom, you get to experience the spray up close. But only from a distance are you able to appreciate context.
It seems like when we go hiking and see falls, it has often been when it has been relatively dry and there is only a small amount of water flowing over the falls. Often the falls are still very impressive because of the height and surrounding terrain, but not the same experience as seeing them when the water is flowing full force over them. This is a photo of Kates Falls in the New River gorge in February after considerable rain. Definitely a good time to see them.
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
This photo was taken at the Sandstone Falls overlook (New River). I must admit I was a little disappointed. The falls looked more dramatic in the pictures I had seen so I was expecting something more dramatic. It’s likely the water was higher than usual due to the recent rain and maybe this had an effect on the appearance of the falls. On the other hand, I was thankful that it had stopped raining so that we could at least see the falls.
How often in our lives do we view something as a “mixed blessing”? I guess in every situation, it possible to see something good and/or something bad. At the same time, all blessings are blessings!
This photo was taken in December on my third visit to these falls in 6 months. There was a striking difference in the water between the visits. In the summer, there was lots of water which was very clear. In the fall, there was almost no water flowing over the falls. The third visit found plenty of water, but it was very muddy.
I find these changes to be a metaphor for the ups and downs we experience in life. Water can represent so many different things: joy, peace, love, hope to name a few. It is important to recognize that in the “seasons” of life, each of these will be available in different ways and varied amounts.
Shortly after after driving away from the Lower Calf Creek Falls trailhead, we passed by this spot which looked over the canyon with the trail (center of photo). It’s surprising how little of the tail is visible from this spot. It would be easy to assume that there was only rock and a few shrubs below.