Deep Breathing for the Soul

A large white cross stands on a hill, our indication to turn right onto a gravel road. Dust clouds billow behind us. After a few miles, we turn left onto Jerusalem Road and drive by cows at pasture. Glimpses of the lake twinkle behind stands of maple. Our path parallels the lake’s shore. Dad decreases speed. Sunlight dims. We know what’s coming . . . . massive trees on one side shake hands with their partners on the other side. We enter a fantasy land of shadows. Razor-thin streaks of light bounce off the windshield. We’re alone, my parents and the five of us, in this secret forest.

Jerusalem Road in Fall

This few minutes of fantasy tells us we’re five minutes from the cottage. Dad breathes deeply. He’s home; work at the mill lies on hold. He’ll soon be on the lake, fishing rod in hand. Mom breathes almost as deeply. Her chores the same but she too has reached the land of her birth; she’ll laugh a lot with siblings. We five breathe quickly in anticipation. We’ll live in bathing suits for weeks, brown in the sun, dive amongst weeds to touch fish tails.

This canopy of maples still takes my breath away. As a child I loved it most in summer. Today, I love it in Fall. Pioneers built this road. And many of my ancestors have traveled it, including my great-great-grandparents. But in my deepest heart, I consider it mine.

If there’s a visual for the idea of  Listening to my Hair Grow, Jerusalem Road is it. It evokes an aaahhhh from my soul.

Many whither for lack of aaahhh. Work is good. But to ponder beauty around us and consider what God is saying to us through it is better. No only better, needful.

Look around. Look up. Consider God who created it all.

When I view and consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained and established,

    I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon, the stars which you have established . . .   (Psalm 8:3)

an explosion of maple colour behind remains of stone house

About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at:
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