Here in the Shenandoah Valley, spring creeps up from muddy high rivers and across boggy bottoms. Onto stone-strewn hills tendrils of green and pastel reach up in delerious disorder to assault the strict grey-browns of winter. The river turns green as the grass. Catfish bite. Virginia peepers sing through the night. The moon is full. Anything is possible now.
~ Summer ~
Over the Shenandoah, through the valley of the stars, summer sinks into the haze. Branches of trees arch heavily onto rivers and roads. Grouse and quail cross unconcerned. Rabbits hop in the fields. Amidst tall grasses, wildflowers stretch toward the sun and a red-coated deer, tame to the heat and verdant pasture, licks her newborn dry. Wood ducks glide onto still pools and hide in the sheltering reeds. Familial geese lace ledges of stone aligned by the river's bank. Songbirds build their intricate nests of cedar and twig, and a red-tailed hawk spirals from the raucous crows, ever smaller, even higher, into the sweltering sky.
~ Fall ~
Clear cool breezes rustle through drying leaves of greens and gold, burnt reds, and a startling orange aflame, alone in an open field. Under the soft lace of fading yellows a dirt road tunnels downhill. Darkening hollows and the rolling crests of bookend mountains pull toward each horizon, swirling ribbons of color down by creeks toward the rivers, hushed by a shelter of ever-green pines. Autumn harvests of apples, pumpkin and winter squashes adorn the sinuous backcountry roads. Slowly the trees slide from their summer robes toward a barren stand of greys and black. Footsteps follow browning paths and crush the dying blades, as the valley falls in glorious abandon toward the silent white of winter.
~ Winter ~
In quiet fields dried weeds of beige and brown peek up through patches of sparkling frost and snow into a crystal air, toward a glassy sky. Stripped and angled branches of trees line the idle back-country roads, reveal the Valley's hidden hollows and hills and homes. Rivers and creeks, streams reflect and run in a deep, fathomless blue. Throughout the ancient Senedo cycle of rugged days and long, dark nights, along the mountain stretches, amidst the deciduous sleep of cottonwood and oak, evergreens stand in spectral clusters of strength and steadfastness.
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way."--Jesus (Matthew 7:13 NLT)
"Work hard to enter the narrow door to God's Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail."--Jesus (Luke13:24 NLT)