A trio of mushrooms in the woods – a happy family on nature’s floor.
This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Trio” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.
Looking across Lake Superior as the moon rises, stars filling the sky, no sound but the wind in the trees, and deer rustling in the woods … it is difficult to imagine the world could be anything but at peace on evenings like this.
John Lennon’s song “Imagine” contains timeless words and hope for peace, which is why this video and story of the pianist playing it outside the Bataclan in Paris went viral.
Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…
… You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
(lyrics excerpt from “Imagine” by John Lennon)
It is difficult to imagine ways everyday people like myself can contribute toward world peace in a meaningful way. All the supportive Facebook posts, changed profile pictures, and tweets of solidarity do little to effect change halfway around the world. I am not so idealistic to think that a single individual can turn the ugly tide of the extremist movement.
I do believe, though, that an individual can create a ripple of change, promote a glimmer of hope and understanding that touches another individual, or perhaps a few. And that those few, in turn, can reach out to more, spreading tolerance and a curiosity of other cultures and peoples that drives a desire for learning how we are more alike than not.
Let words and prayers for peace turn into action. Let the dreamers come together and turn dreams into reality. Let us not forget the people touched by the tragedies in Beirut, in Baghdad, in Paris ….
Walking the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery, I yearned for the assurance that we will move forward as a nation toward peace.
The wars throughout America’s history have shaped the thoughts and aspirations of generations, and touched the lives of millions around the world.
U.S. National World War II Memorial
The monuments in our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., often memorialize or reflect upon war. Their words and images ran through my mind as we walked the rolling hills of the cemetery.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
While Arlington National Cemetery also contains the graves of notable American heroes or other people of influential significance, unrelated to any military conflict, I could only think of the sorrow that war brings as I surveyed row after row of white marble markers.
The old trees cradled some markers in their gnarled roots, while their broad canopies…
I am woefully overdue in publishing this post … perhaps it is because, subconsciously, I don’t want to share this delightful retreat in Galena, Illinois, for fear its two rooms will both be occupied the next time we return to the area! Abe’s Spring Street Guest House is special lodging located just a few blocks from the historic district. While we found Abe’s to be the perfect spot for an overnight visit, we left wishing we could stay the entire weekend.
We stayed in “Albert’s Glen” — the room named after the owners’ St. Bernard, whose likeness graces the spacious bathroom.
The unique, artistic touches throughout the large apartment-like suite create an ambience unlike any bed and breakfast we have stayed in.
Each post of the king-sized bed in the bedroom area of Albert’s Glen provides a base for elegant sculptures made by the owner, whose studio is located next door.
While you may think of exploring a historic city like Galena only in the warmer months of the year, the gas fireplace in Albert’s Glen would make for a cozy retreat.
Not only are the tiles surrounding the fireplace a feast for the eyes, but as you sit next to the warmth, looking up you appreciate the hand-made metal light shades hanging from the ceiling.
No detail is overlooked — from the local candies at the bedside, to the exquisite door handles and bathroom fixtures.
A clawfoot soaking tub, tiled walk-in shower, and more of the owner’s imaginative accents greet you as you enter the brightly-lit bathroom.
The other room offered at the Guest House is just as inspired and full of creative energy. Since we were traveling through Galena with our college-aged son, he enjoyed the other private suite — “Rudolph’s Retreat” — and then joined us for breakfast the following morning.
Walking up the hill behind Abe’s, guests are welcomed into the owners’ kitchen where hot coffee, juice, and a gourmet breakfast is served — along with friendly conversation as the aromas of the day’s morning menu fills the room.
Abe’s Spring Street Guest House has all the desirable features of a bed and breakfast, with the added bonus of spacious, private accommodations (even a spa hot tub and sauna for use by guests in the building next door). Hoping to return again soon!
Hiking along the road near the cabin in the northwoods, autumn’s golden leaves crunching below our feet as our four-legged companions gallop to their heart’s content … up north is my happy place.
It’s the place people go to escape,
a place made of cabins, pine trees and lakes.
But no matter how far you drive,
there’s no sign to say “You’ve arrived.”
So just follow your heart ‘til you find,
your special place that brings peace of mind.
As you breathe in the air and unwind,
your cares are all left behind.
It’s no mystery where the northwoods start.
When you’re “up north,”
you’ll know in your heart.
– Suzanne Kindler, 1996
Ciao! ~ Kat
This post was in response to the Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge. “Happy Place” is this week’s theme. Everyone is welcome to join in the Challenge; further details on how to participate and links to others’ responses are found here.