"The quality of mercy is not strained,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes..."

The heavy rain has given way to a misting drizzle, but streams of water are pouring down from the hills, making new ponds and creeks. This spring is awash in moisture and amazing after last summer’s searing drought. I am struck by the intense beauty around me, and I thought I was already seeing it, but it is so much more somehow. The grass seems to shimmer, yet there is no sun out today, and the meadow is so richly green it’s like seeing heaven. The barnyard geese are enraptured, as much as geese can be, with all the grass. If there is a lovelier place to revel in spring than the Shenandoah Valley and the mountains, I don’t know it. Narnia, maybe.

I’ve been thinking about my favorite places. The pool I like best lies in the woods near a place called Rip Rap Hollow in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A most splendid falls cascades up above, but I like the pool far more. We always meant to go back, but never have. The cold water ripped through me like liquid ice and is as clear as melted crystal. I could see the rocks on the bottom, some slick with moss, others brown-gold in the light where the sun broke through the leafy canopy overhead. Trout hid beneath big rounded stones or ones that formed a cleft, but the men tickled them out to flash over the flat rocks strewn across the bottom like a path. Drifts of hay-scented fern rose around the edges of the pool, warming the air with the fragrance of new mown hay, and made the shady places a rich green.

Now, that’s a good place to go in my mind when I’m troubled. The problem with cities is that people don’t learn what really matters, don't really feel or know the rhythms of the earth. When we are separated from that vital center place, we grow lost. Sadly, most people will never know what they are lost from, or where they can be found.

Posted by Beth Trissel


  1. Emma Sanders // April 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM  

    Great post! I love your descriptions and agree with you about nature. Spring, after a good rain, makes you see things in a whole new light.

    BTW...I love your pic! It'll look great at Nationals.

  2. Nightingale // April 7, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

    Beautifully penned. I could smell the Spring Rain. The last paragraph about cities hit home. Nature is far preferable.

  3. Nightingale // April 7, 2008 at 2:51 PM  

    Oh yes, I forgot to comment on the photo. Looks great.

  4. Sheryl // April 7, 2008 at 3:21 PM  

    Oh, how true that last paragraph is. Stop and smell the flowers, I say!

    Is a lurrrrvley photo :)

    Sheryl w/a Charlotte Chalmers

  5. Miss Mae // April 7, 2008 at 3:39 PM  

    Wonderful, Beth, and gorgeous picture!


  6. Nita Wick // April 7, 2008 at 3:56 PM  

    Wonderful pic, Beth.

    Oh, and a lovely blog post. :)

  7. Susan Macatee // April 7, 2008 at 5:21 PM  

    I know I'm eager for Spring!
    Love your pic!

  8. Beth Trissel // April 7, 2008 at 5:24 PM  

    Thank you, ladies. My Allergist says I'm the only patient he has who loves spring even though I'm very allergic to it. But, spring is heavenly, and a fairy realm.
    Thanks for the kudos on the pic!

  9. Joanne // April 7, 2008 at 5:29 PM  

    Beautiful picture, Beth. I love your shimmering descriptions. You can smell spring in the air.

  10. Mary Barfield // April 7, 2008 at 6:22 PM  

    Beth, girl, you make me want to go there. Love your way with language.
    Good photo. Lookin' good!


  11. Beth Trissel // April 7, 2008 at 6:22 PM  

    Thanks Joanne. Truly, it is lovely here.

  12. Beth Trissel // April 7, 2008 at 7:04 PM  

    And Mary, come on over.

  13. Eliza Knight // April 7, 2008 at 8:07 PM  

    Fabulous post!

    I love your headshot! What a beautiful settin!

  14. Lisa Marie Wilkinson // April 9, 2008 at 2:41 PM  

    It's a lovely picture!!!

  15. Beth Trissel // April 9, 2008 at 11:21 PM  

    Thanks Lisa! My sister took it.