Brenda Nail DeLauder
My husband had given me an escape retreat to the North Georgia mountains and I was on my way! When I first turned off the main highway onto a gravel road I wasn’t concerned, until I reached the first hairpin curve. From that point on the single lane turned into more of a path than an actual road. Even though the rental office agent had warned me about it, I found myself gripping the wheel. Nearing the top I spotted the cabin and was overjoyed to be able to see for miles! Getting out of my car, the first thing I instantly noticed was the feeling of peace. It was as if I stepped out into a sanctuary and quiet was in order.
Once I unloaded the car, I gravitated to the porch to take in the magnificent view. I smiled when I realized there were no schedules and no chores. It was a time to be with God. This was a trip I had thought about for a long time and I had finally arrived!
I quickly settled into a rocker on the porch and was absolutely amazed to find hours would pass and I would still be sitting, looking out across the mountain tops. I watched as clouds moved through, the sunbeams peeking around them, shining down on various parts like spotlights. A pair of eagles rode a thermal for a long time above a nearby mountain top and just as night settled into the valley below, a barred owl, serenaded me. Peace filled the air I breathed in.
By late afternoon on the second day a storm was starting to brew. I watched it begin to pour rain some miles away and move toward me taking several minutes before it arrived at the cabin. To hear it coming, smelling the fresh scent of the rain as it approached, was wonderful. Even the lightning show, while some distance away, was spectacular to see.
I had taken various books with me, but I spent most of my reading time in my Bibles, the old King James Version and my favorite study Bible. Prayers were often lifted, but a great portion of the time I was there, was spent in stillness. Instead of talking to God the whole time, I spent time soaking in the silence. Such an uplifting and restoring feeling settled within my soul.
The mountains seemed to swallow the noise humanity makes, and I heard no highway traffic, blowing horns or sirens either. The few planes going over, were silent once they passed from view over the next mountain. Even with construction going on, no bulldozer or saw sounds made it up the mountain. No music, talking, lawnmowers or leaf blowers could be heard. It was utter silence. Well, except for the Pileated Woodpecker who had a lot to say!
I can’t recall when I have rested so much and while it was wonderful, by the third morning I was awake long before daylight. I got up, threw on a jacket and started the coffee, then settled on the porch to watch the morning slowly creep in across the mountains. It was a perfect way to spend my last morning there. God opened the door for me to have this retreat and He was with me each step of this journey. I thought about the old hymn “In the Garden” because it describes how I felt in His presence.
The trip was a wonderful time to rejoice and revel in the quiet peace with God by my side. Even the challenging path to the cabin became a moment of trusting my Lord. It was an absolutely awesome retreat!
In The Garden by C. Austin Miles
Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.