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Nourishing the Soul in the Forest

colorado falls in park

The forest is vivacious

filled with trees and waterfalls

quiet and serene

filled with it all

 

It is summer in the forest

the trees are so green

reflecting off the water

an incredible scene

 

God made nature

for us to learn and observe

nourishing our souls

while we preserve

 

Never take for granted the beauty of the land

its lush creeks and waterfalls

trash and poor land management

will destroy it all

 

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Alaska: A Tour of the Yukon

Alaska

Alaska is a wonderful place to explore and visit. The cruise ship had pulled into port and we prepared for our tour of the Yukon in Canada. The air was crisp and cold as we left the ship and got on the bus. The sun was bright as it beamed down on the snow surrounding us.

Our tour guide was a friendly fellow who lived in this small town. The small town had the appearance of an old west type of architecture. There were several buildings that were painted white with red trim that radiated in the sun as we passed by.

We passed through town and listened to the stories of how the people lived and survived the cold climate. Our guide was older and preferred to live in town during the tourist season and fly down to warmer climates during the harsh winter. He was proud of this town and his face shined with the telling of each story.

We passed over the Canadian border and there were beautiful snow-covered mountains and valleys to greet us as we made our way to the Yukon. The land was untouched by humans and the beauty of the land began to beckon me.

Our first stop was at a small park where people frequently camped and fished. It was an extremely primitive campground surrounded by trees with deep green leaves and a lake that had small animals surrounding it. The ecosystem was alive and drawing me into the stories of this land. The life cycle of nature was in harmony and it was beautiful

Along the way to the Yukon there are many animals in the mountains that are close enough to get a picture. Often the tour guide would suddenly stop and we would move forward in our seats with a jolt. There would be no napping on this tour. There were bears and wild goats that would pose for pictures in the distance.

The Yukon became famous in the 1800s for the promise of gold. People came from many places seeking their fortunes. The Canadian government would not allow people to enter the Yukon without a year’s supply of food and other life essentials. The ecosystem is harsh and the people allowed to enter were prepared. I loved this life lesson in planning and perseverance.

In the Yukon there is the world’s smallest desert. It is a beautiful piece of land that appears to blend in well with the ecosystem. The day of our tour it was covered in snow patches.

Alaska 2

It was time for lunch and we stopped at a small restaurant that was included in our tour. The food was wonderful and consisted of barbecue ribs, cooked potatoes, peas, and bread. Home cooking is wonderful in all parts of the world.

After lunch we walked across the street to view a beautiful mountain with a lake in the front. The lake had an interesting variety of colors that changed with the seasons. In the spring this lake is dark blue in the deeper parts changing to light green in the shallow parts of the lake. The mountains surrounding the lake have dark green trees below the higher mountain rocks. Truly God is an awesome artist to have created such beauty.

After taking photographs we left this wonderful place and proceeded to our next stop. It was a ghost town that featured a small gift shop and post office. The town was well-preserved with old abandoned buildings and railroad tracks. There was an old train car on the tracks outside the post office.

It was a wonderful experience for the soul to imagine how life had been in the times when this town thrived. The people lived off the land and brought their gold to be measured and converted to currency. An interesting time in the history of the Yukon.

We returned to the tour bus and began our trip back to the cruise ship. There were more stops along the way to take pictures and observe the wildlife. I enjoyed the peacefulness and harmony of the land. The wildlife has adapted to the seasons and thrive in the ecosystem.

Returning to the United States clouds and rain have descended on the landscape. A deep fog has developed and the roads are hazardous. Our guide is familiar with the road and we arrive back at our ship without any issues.

It has been a wonderful day to experience the beauty of the world God created. Alaska is a wonderful place to visit and full of adventure. My soul is nourished and at peace.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Skipper’s Tall Tale: An Adventure in Persistence

Skipper

The early morning clouds were scattering a sprinkle of rain from the sky. Things are being prepared for a Memorial Day visit with family in another state. I am Piper’s dog Skipper and things are getting hectic. Everything is packed and in the car waiting to begin our trip.

I am determined to drive on this trip. The back seat is boring with just my blanket and toy. Now if there had been a nice steak bone in the back we would not be having this conversation. Piper has put me in the back seat with the air conditioner running and gone to make sure the front door to the apartment is locked. That woman is obsessive sometimes.

I am determined to drive at least for the first part of the trip. While her back is turned I jumped into the front seat and have locked the doors. When she noticed the doors were locked she went into panic mode. It was so funny watching her face turn red and start running toward the locked front door. She even dropped her purse on the wet sidewalk.

I decided to honk the horn as she ran to the manager’s office to get an extra key to the apartment. The neighbors came to their doors and there was much laughter as she came back with the manager. The rain is coming down harder now and I turn on the windshield wipers. Back and forth they go spreading the rain from the windshield on Piper as the manager gives her the extra key to use for the apartment.

Normally there is a fee for this service of an extra key.  I honk the horn again and the manager is laughing so hard that she waives the fee and thanks Piper for the entertainment for the day.

Piper gave in to my desire to drive. She exclaimed that taking a nap while riding in the rain would be a great idea. I bark and we begin our trip for the holiday weekend. It is now pouring down rain and the roads are slippery as we drive down the interstate. People are staring at us as if they had never seen a dog drive a car before.

I see a highway patrol car and remember how fun it is to play a game of chase. Quickly I step on the accelerator and am now going one hundred miles an hour. The patrol car quickly enters into a chase which goes on for about ten miles. This is so much fun.

Piper wakes up from her nap and tells me to pull over. The officer is dripping wet as he approaches the car. His expression was priceless as he sees a dog driving the car. I tell him that he is dreaming and that dogs do not drive cars. Angry at first but then laughing he tells me to either slow down or let Piper drive. I agree to slow down and not cause anymore issues. It would be a shame for Piper to spend the weekend in jail.

We arrive at our destination and everyone is excited to see us. I am thrilled to see everyone and explore all the exciting new scents in the yard. We relax for the rest of the day and I am excited for the picnic tomorrow at the local park.

The next morning the sun is out and the rain has left a fresh scent in the air. The clouds in the sky are beautiful as they move slowly in the wind. Piper has decided that we will  walk in the park this morning. I see a bank on the river where some ducks have decided to rest. This is going to be fun.

red headed duck strawberry patch park april 24

I jerk the leash and make Piper fall on the ground and let go. The ducks are so close that I almost catch one before he dives into the water. Missing the duck does not phase me as I plunge into the cold water and begin to swim. There is a turtle on a drifting log in the way but I attempt to jump over the log and splash into the water on the other side.

turtle sunning strawberry patch park april 24

The duck escapes and I return to the shore to check on Piper. She is fine but a little annoyed at me. I wonder why because my adventure was fun.

I decide to give Piper a break until meal time. There is an apple pie on the table and it has my name on it. Someday soon there will be another installment in this adventure. You will have to wait to see if I survive???????????

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

 

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Soul Searching in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Survive

The Grand Canyon National Park is filled with beautiful open spaces between the canyons. It is one of God’s great blessings to be able to observe the natural beauty of this place. The blue, orange, pink, and brown hues grow deeper as the sun moves throughout the canyon during the day. It provides a canvas to explore and discover new things within our souls.

It is difficult to imagine that the Colorado River carved this canyon. The river appears so small in the vastness of the crevices of the canyon. There are many places in the Grand Canyon to park or hike that are quiet and serene. It is easy to listen to God and search within your soul for answers to some of life’s questions.

It was a curious time in my life. I had a job that provided a comfortable income but no real challenges. Each day it was a chore to get out of bed and go to work with a positive attitude. I felt like a trapped animal unable to move on.

The relationships in my life were also a drama. Everything was always in turmoil as the people around me were content to argue and perpetuate bitterness and hatred. It was taxing just to get out of bed and deal with life.

The people surrounding me were miserable. They had substance abuse issues and were unwilling to seek help. Manipulation ruled their lives and had a profound effect on mine. It was not a joyous time in my life.

Change is a difficult thing. When we are familiar with everything in our lives there is a strange sense of contentment. We believe that everyone in our lives is essential to survival no matter what the cost.

One morning while visiting the canyon we parked the truck and walked out onto one of the canyons to observe the surrounding area. After a few minutes I decided to sit and absorb all of the beauty surrounding me. It had been a difficult year filled with decisions and this seemed the appropriate place to sort out my feelings about life.

I slowly relaxed as the sun and the morning coolness surrounded me. Taking deep breaths it felt like I was becoming a part of the canyon. The sounds of nature were clear and in harmony. There were a few birds rustling the bushes in searching for food. A whistling sound in the wind was harmonic as it cascaded across the canyon.

DocFile (4)

The issues that had been bothering me melted away and seemed small in comparison to the world now surrounding me. For a brief moment it was just me sitting on this canyon. Living in that moment was a freeing experience.

I meditated on this canyon for a while praying to God for answers on how to go forward in life. In the silence I had a revelation and now the answer was clear. It was time to move on.

Standing up I took one last look at the vastness of the canyon. The blue, orange, red, and purple hues appeared to be sparkling in the reflection of the afternoon sun. Walking back to the truck I felt more alive than I had in a long time.

It was now time to return home and put into action the revelations that I had on the overlook of that canyon. Change was still frightening but now there was a renewed sense of purpose in my life.

I had decided that the best course of action was to leave the world which had been my home for many years. It took some research but I found a new city filled with nature and all the things that I enjoyed. It was time to move on and create some new dreams.

Finding a job in a new city was not as difficult as I had imagined. There is an abundance of opportunity if you are willing to search for it. The new job promised to be challenging and provided opportunities for advancement.

I moved to a new apartment and began the process of searching for a new group of friends. Talking to all the people I came into contact with provided a network of people with similar interests. It was not long before this network became like a family to me.

Many years have passed since that day on top of the canyon. Leaving all the friends that I had ever known was difficult but worth the journey. There have been many adventures and life is joyful. My soul is nourished daily with the love and companionship of my husband and friends. I have no regrets and each day thank God for his guidance and blessings. I survived that season of my life.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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Precipice: A Mountain Hike and the Meeting With A Moose

petrified forest water path 1 april 14

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The morning was beautiful in the Grand Teton Mountains with the sun shining through the trees. On top of the mountain it was still cool enough for a jacket as my friends and I  were  looking for which path to hike down. There was one sign that indicated a one mile hike and the other path was a six-mile hike.

On the sky lift coming up to the top of the mountain I could see beautiful green meadows and a stream flowing down the mountain. This was a day trip and lunch was packed so my friends chose the six-mile path down the mountain. It was going to be a beautiful day to observe and be a part of nature.

The first part of the trail was rocky and the descent was a little difficult. At times it was a struggle not to fall and twist my ankle. The scenery was beautiful with green trees and dew still on the grass. There were song birds in the trees and my soul was refreshed by the sounds of nature.

As the day progressed the temperature began to rise and the heat began to settle into the day. There was now a field filled with beautiful yellow and white flowers to cross. The wind was blowing making the flowers appear to dance in the field.

This field had tall grass and the trail was difficult to see. I jumped several times believing there to be snakes in the grass each time the wind blew across the field. It was an adventure trying to photograph this beautiful spot without giving into the fear of dangerous wildlife.

Soon we came to the river flowing down the mountain. It was cool and inviting and there was a spot to picnic. We lay down blankets and unpacked our food. Our lunch was wonderful and tasted better to us due to the hike. Six miles of hiking in the mountains is different from the flat land and small hills in Mississippi. We were tired and grateful for the break.

After the meal we hiked some along the river bed. There were many rapids crossing the rocks of the river. The rapids had a certain calming melody that helped to relax my now aching legs.

As we progressed farther down the mountain it began to rain. The rain shower did not last long and the sun began to shine. We could now feel the humidity and the heat beating down. Finding some shade we sat down and enjoyed some cool water.

We were now more than half way through our trip and began noticing the wildlife close to the trail. There were squirrels and a variety of birds. As I moved closer to take a picture of some birds there was a bustling in the trees. Coming closer to see what was moving a moose came out of the brush.

He was a large brown moose and had huge antlers. We had been advised that there were moose in these mountains and to maintain a distance from these animals. They had occasionally attacked people.

The moose was approximately six feet from me. His size was intimidating and I was beyond frightened and almost in a state of panic. For a brief moment it appeared that time stood still.

I stood completely still as the moose surveyed me contemplating what to do. Then in an instant the moose turned and ran in the opposite direction of me. Not one to stay in a dangerous situation I ran immediately in the direction away from the moose. It was about half an hour before I calmed down.

My friends were entertained from watching this drama. They would recount and embellish for years this encounter with the moose. Many would wonder why no one thought to take a picture of this scene.

Nearing the end of the trail it was time to sit down and take a break again. We had reached the point on the trail where there was a barn with horses offering rides for a fee. Many people passed us riding horses on the trail wondering why we looked so tired.

Finally we were at the end of the trail at the parking lot. My legs felt like spaghetti and I was in pain. It would be several days before the soreness left my body. Still the scenic route down the mountain was worth it.

I will never forget my encounter with that moose. The precipice of that moment will linger for a lifetime. It is still a story that resonates at some barbecues as we remember our adventures in this journey through life.

copyright 2017 Debbie Pierce

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