Heaven on earth (Good Friday & Earth Day musings)

When you look down

When you look up
Heaven on earth

It’s an overcast morning. 

The skies are gray with weeping clouds.  (Although the clouds have been overwhelmed by a rising sun and the sky looks orange behind that eastern spruce tree outside the window.)  I took the camera outside.  No.  Not a morning for photos.  Too dark, too dismal, too cloudy.

Yesterday I traveled to Marquette for a Title I Spring Workshop for the school.  About forty of us crammed in a small room at the Marquette Alger ISD to digest a presentation about new requirements.  Every year the state and federal government change their minds about what we’re suppose to do.  (In the name of accountability, you understand.) 

After the workshop I met Barry–who was in Marquette for Baraga’s track meet at the dome–for lunch.  It was a nice time together.  Our weekly “date”.

Upon returning home, it seemed an afternoon walk was required.  You know, to exercise after a long day in car & meeting. 

“Which way are you going?” Barry predictably asked. “Up the road or down the road?”

“I will know once I get to the road,” I predictably answered.

The feet headed down the road.  Ah-hah!  Looked like they were headed for the eagle pond or perhaps the lake.

But no.  They veered into the woods, toward the old hollowed-out tree where porcupines sometimes winter.  But then the feet did an even more unusual turn.  They headed almost to the deep-cut ravine, but started up through the woods on a perpendicular path to the road.

Luckily, most of the snow hath melted.  Luckily, the feet didn’t lead into one of those dastardly puddles of melted snow-water which appear all over the woods at this time of year.  (The feet have fallen in two of these puddles already this year.  Apparently they wanted the experience of being soaked.  However–I want you to know something.  It’s only the Mind which thinks this experience is Devastating.  The feet don’t mind.  If they’re walking, they don’t even feel cold and soaked.)

When you’re back in the woods without a compass, the Mind gets fussy.  It thinks you just might get lost this time and have to spend the night in the woods finally, after all these years.  Especially since you didn’t tell your husband where you were going because, of course, you didn’t know which way the feet would amble.  (Of course, I did learn how to make a debris survival hut back in Tom Brown Jr.’s wilderness survival course.  Here’s what you do if you have to spend the night in the woods.  Heap piles and piles of  leaves over your body and burrow in like an animal covered with fur.  Of course, you’ll shiver.  But you probably won’t freeze to death.  Except if it’s winter.  We won’t discuss winter.)

Yesterday the sun shone in the west without its cloak of clouds.  Therefore, unless the sun disappears, you know your way out of the woods.  Follow the sun.  Leisurely.  Marvel at the tiny tiny lupines leaves which are popping through the spring soil  (well, mostly along the road where they get enough sunlight.)  Marvel at pussy willows. 

Walk slower.  Slower still.  You’re in heaven on earth.  Just like what Jesus was saying to the people way back then.  Today is Earth Day and Good Friday.  It’s possible for it to merge, folks.  We can realize that heaven on earth is possible.  It’s possible to find our way out of the woods–even when we think we’re lost.  It’s possible to resurrect.  It’s possible to find heaven on earth.

I believe.

P.S.  Pardon the photos all bunched together at the top.  I tried to insert them in the blog at proper intervals, as usual.  However, the photos refused to cooperate even after two or three tries per photo.  That’s when you realize part of the Secret of Heaven on Earth is gracefully accepting the “what is” of allowing photos their independence.   🙂

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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30 Responses to Heaven on earth (Good Friday & Earth Day musings)

  1. Sybil says:

    I think the pictures are perfect the way they are.

  2. P.j. grath says:

    Happy Earth Day, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Happy Earth Day to you, Pamela! Wondering if you’re doing anything. Usually I bring a garbage bag and clean up the road. Trying to decide about doing that today.

  3. Barbara Rodgers says:

    Ahhh, I well know that feeling of not being too sure where one is in the woods. Sometimes I think the sight of evergreens and the vestige of snow cover are “Heaven on earth,” as the third picture illustrates. Wishing you a thoughtful Earth Day and Good Friday, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Barbara. Isn’t that a tentative feeling when you’re “kind of” lost in the woods, but not really? I love when we glimpse moments of Heaven on Earth. Blessings to you today!

      • Barbara Rodgers says:

        Yes, that’s it! Not really lost, just temporarily disoriented. Once I saw a woman wearing a religious t-shirt saying, “I’m not lost, I’m with my Father.” It made me think of that feeling in the woods – I’m not lost, I’m with my Mother, Earth. Blessings to you, too! 🙂

  4. holessence says:

    I, too, like all of the photos at the top. It’s like they’re shouting “Happy Earth Day!”

  5. Elisa's Spot says:

    I was hoping you’d see an eagle yesterday (I had a hankerin’). And then, I thought, oh how selfish, to wish her cold and wet feet! So, this post made me giggle! Happy Earth Day and yesterday’s John Muir’s birthday!

    • Kathy says:

      Elisa, I saw two eagles yesterday. Or was it the day before? Big and majestic and sitting so puffed up and royal in a tree overlooking the river. At two different times. Happy Earth Day/John Muir birthday to you!

  6. Susan D says:

    I like the pictures no matter where they end up. Especially like the “looking down” one. There’s something primal there; birth, water, life, resurrection. I like our overcast day. We may need these days now to help stave off dry conditions this summer. I feel like I’m in the womb of Mother Nature today. Warm, hydrated and ready to hatch. There is a bird out there who’s been singing non-stop for 2 days – or so it seems. Such joy!

    Yesterday, your spirit was lighting every nook and cranny of the school. It helped make it an especially wonderful day 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Susan D, it always makes me smile to think of you subbing at the school. How I love it when you’re there! (Although it would be nice, wouldn’t it?, if we could be there together one of these days.) Also smiling thinking of your singing bird, although wondering if she’s singing this morning covered with snow??

  7. Karma says:

    I’ve enjoyed your musing as always, Kathy. The morning is overcast here as well and I find myself contemplating what Mama Nature has in store for us next. I’m sure she has her reasons for not treating us to a more wonderful spring as early as we’d like – perhaps to have us appreciate what is to come even more.

    • Kathy says:

      Karen, I know what you mean about contemplating what our Dear Mama has in store for us. Yikes! This morning we had another three inches of snow. Did you get any?

  8. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – I adore these photos and thank you for taking me along on your woodland stroll. You always take me back in memory to some treasured time. This reminded me of when I would do the same at our northern cottage and simply take off. A neighbor up there used to caution me that I must tell someone where I was going as there were many bears, badgers and such. But I never did because, like you, I never knew. My “feet” had their own agenda and wonderful it always was! Happy Earth Day and let us take a moment to pray that “all” respect its beauty and wonder and keep it healthy. Your pictures are so vivid I can almost feel the wind and smell the woods.

    • Kathy says:

      Hi, Susan! I am always glad to bring back wonderful memories for you. 🙂 I think if we gave in to our fear we’d never go tramping in the woods alone, would we? I add to your prayer…hoping that this sense of respect and wonder can make a huge difference for our earth. Thank you.

  9. KathUsitalo says:

    Love the Enchanted Forest photos, especially perfect for Earth Day.

    • Kathy says:

      Kath, it’s good to see you here! I am glad you enjoyed the Enchanted Forest photos. It really IS enchanted if you look at it through quiet eyes.

  10. Colleen says:

    Happy Earth Day Kathy and many blessings to you and yours on this Easter weekend.

    And speaking about heaven on earth (and reading your Simply Here post), wondering if that is a vernal pool in your first photo? Or something else? It’s a beautiful photo.

    • Kathy says:

      Colleen, same to you and your family. A blessed weekend to you all.

      As for a vernal pool, perhaps? I’m not sure of the exact definition. I am not sure if ALL puddles of water in the woods in springtime are vernal pools. Or just the ones that stay around look enough to support frogs and toads and other woodland creatures. I actually thought about labeling it a vernal pool, but decided–to be on the safe side–not to call it one.

  11. barb says:

    It is Good Friday night here in CO, and I just totally enjoyed your post and the fantastic photos – I enlarged them. That first has so much going on – the water, the reflections, the leaves. It’s like a little cosmos of its own. I like where your feet take you, Kathy – rambling is also one of my pastimes. I’m sure my Family is worried that I’ll amble someday and not know the way home. But – it hasn’t happened yet! (Notice how I use the dash which I believe you vowed never to do again…) Also, the parentheses…

    • Kathy says:

      You enlarged the photos even bigger than they already were, Barb? My goodness you are a courageous woman! lol… (By the way, I know what I said about dashes and parantheses and ellipses but I still adore them and use them regularly!)

  12. Robin says:

    I like the photos the way they are. They look wonderful to me. 🙂

    Your Earth Day sounds like it was a fabulous day.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh good, Robin. The photos thank you. They are delighted that my interfering mind was stopped and that they could sit at the top, exactly where they wanted to perch on Earth Day.

  13. bearyweather says:

    You could have taken those pictures here .. wet puddly ground (you have some green, though), trees with no leaves and snow in the shady spots. I have not had the time to let my adventurous hiking feet take me into the woods, yet …. hopefully this long weekend will allow for time wandering in the woods … your pictures make me want to go.
    (pictures at the top look fine to me)

    • Kathy says:

      Good afternoon, Ms. Bearyweather! It DOES sound like we have similar landscapes these days. I hope you get to ramble in the woods. I hope you don’t fall in a puddle. If you do, I hope you don’t mind and you keep smiling, enjoying being in the spring woods. (That is, unless you have new snow, like we do. Three new inches today. If that’s the case, perhaps you’ll want to wear your boots?)

  14. Dawn says:

    Lovely. And true. Once a friend and I were camping in the Porcupine Mtns (the same friend who forgot the tentpoles….but that’s another story)…and we were hiking and couldn’t find the next marker on the trail. We were pretty sure we were lost in those thousands of acres. Kind of scary. Kind of fun. Something we both won’t forget. We were about 1/2 a mile from the car. Silly girls.

    • Kathy says:

      It can be VERY scary! I have been scared crazy several times over the years. And usually you discover you’re within a half mile or mile from home and all you had to do is continue walking without panic. Isn’t it funny which memories we remember? Usually the ones with a slice of danger or silliness or adventure.

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