Finding Solitude, Solace and God in Rural Amsterdam NY

Sunday, May 20, 2018
Eastern Kingbird
How do you feel about solitude?  Are you someone who needs to always be around people?  Or do you prefer a more solitary life?  Naturally you can love both....I love being with people but I also occasionally crave quiet and by quiet, I mean literal quiet.  It sometimes also means I need to get away - away from the noise of daily life, the noise of appliances, the noise of my inner voice reminding me of all the things keeping my head spinning as I try to solve the problems of the world, even if that world only involves my immediate circle of family and friends.  Some days we all just need that Calgon moment.  When I need a Calgon moment, my go-to remedy for quieting the chaos in my brain often involves a road trip to one of my favorite peaceful destinations.  If you're reading this post, you probably know from so many others that those destinations involve dirt roads, barns, endless horizons and on the best trips also involves an Amish community.  Why?  Because if you know anything about the Amish, you know that life is pretty free of modern noise and chaos!  A week or so ago when I was feeling the need for a little mental restoration, we headed to the rural roads of Amsterdam NY, and the beauty I captured on less than a handful of roads was enough to ground me in serenity again.  I'm sharing that excursion with you today in hopes that you might also find a moment of peace, a breath of calm, and some inspiration to find your own restorative escape.

 Just for today.....I will trust the path I'm on.

 Listen to yourself....and in that quietude, you might hear the voice of God.  
-Maya Angelou

Did it work? Did you find a moment of serenity?  I hope so.  I say it all the time and I know I probably sound like a broken record, but life is crazy.  It's filled with appointments and deadlines, chores and projects.  We work fast, we drive fast, we eat on the go and barely focus on the task at hand.  That way of life may get things accomplished, but at what cost?  When was the last time you took a moment to be still, to ponder your blessings, to ask God for a favor, to listen to your heart?  When was the last time you just stopped and looked at your inner GPS and figured out where you are in life?  Obviously you can't do that in traffic, and you can't do it while you're at your desk completing your next deadline, or hurrying to get your kids on the bus.  Some things in life call for a moment of silence and stillness.  Sometimes we need to get away from the chaos and the noise and listen and look and center ourselves.  That place that you choose to do this may not be a dirt road in Amsterdam or Easton.  It might be on a swing in your backyard, it might be in a parked car at the perimeter of a parking lot or it might be in church on a Sunday morning.  Wherever you feel at peace, that is the place you need to bring yourself to and once you're there, allow yourself to shut down.  Turn off the noise, quiet the guilt, and open your mind to listening to your heart.  Listen to God.  These dirt roads and beautiful landscapes are my second church home....they are the sanctuaries where I can feel God and hear Him and thank Him.  These moments are my calming drug, the place where I feel my pulse slow, my mind relax.  This week I challenge you to find your sanctuary and to make time to abandon the whirlwind you're in and find a moment of silence.  And when you do, I wish for you peace and calm and gratitude.
God's presence can easily be found at Auriesville Shrine overlooking the Mohawk River.

1 comment

  1. I loved this post. I enjoyed the old barns, there soon wont be many left as they are too expensive to restore. I live in Michigan and love taking pictures of them and wondering about the people who built them. I love silence. I love to go walking with someone who does not need to talk all the time. I am a bit afraid to walk alone in the woods so usually have someone along...........will come back to enjoy more.


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