Clear trust

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
― Corrie ten Boom

(a dense fog closes in on the light / Julie Cook / 2015)

That’s what it’s all about isn’t it. . .trust.
And we really don’t like trust do we?
Because we’d rather control wouldn’t we?

Because if we control, then we don’t have to trust.
And if we don’t have to trust, then we can just know (perhaps assume) that things are going to be done as we would have them done, as we don’t particularly like having to trust someone else to do what we know is going to be done right, right?

Can we make certain that things are always done right?
Yes, but only if we do them, right?
Because that’s the only way we’d do these things in the first place, as in right, right?
And of course we don’t have to trust ourselves to do things right because we know ourselves and we, only us, know how to do things right, right?
And we don’t have to trust anyone else because we can just do it all ourselves because we always do it right anyway, right?

And of course we’re going to want it to be our way, because our way is really the best way, the right way and the only way. . .right?
Because if we have to leave it to others, then we’d have to trust others to do things and. . .we just don’t “do” trust remember because we “do” control.
We make certain that we will be doing all things, only as we would do them, of which of course, is the right way and the only way. . .right?
Because we’ve always known that if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself, right?

And if, say, this something which needs doing, is something that’s to be happening in advance or in the future. . .then the questions begs.. .how do we really know it’s actually going to be happening in the first place?
How do we know it’s really going to take place?
How do we know we’ll actually get to do whatever it is we’re to be doing if it’s in the future, and knowing there’s no guarantee about that whole future business, as it’s in the future, we’ve got problems, right?

And of course the answer to all of this is, we don’t know.
And as we don’t know the future, what we do know is that there are no guarantees in that whole future business. . .
We just simply trust it’s all going to take place.
We simply trust it’s all going to go on like it normally does and normally should.

Which brings us all back around to that word again, trust.

But remember, we don’t like trust, preferring control and yet. . .we have to trust because we can’t see into the future, which in turn means we simply just have to trust we have a future.
We have to trust in what we think is the unknown, because really there’s no other way, right?
So we agree, right?
There’s simply no getting around the fact that we can’t control the future, right?

Well. . .I suppose we certainly think that perhaps we can lay out the ground work to pretty much have the future as we’d like it to be, prefer it to be, hope it to be, guarantee it to be, right?

Yet that whole best laid plans deal really isn’t a guarantee is it?
As this whole life thing is pretty much open to chance right?
Of course we work really hard to lay a plan, plot a course, chart the waters, setting it all into motion. . .we do this for this, then that for that, because it’s all suppose to follow one step right after another. . .falling all into place making certain we get to where we’re going as we had planned right?

That’s control, right?
But life, what’s that?
That is not control.
Life is life and life happens. . . and when life happens control gets jack-knifed and trust shows back up.
Because in essence we really don’t have much control in this life now do we?
Yet we do have trust.
Trust doesn’t get jack-knifed.
It’s just always steadfastly there, waiting in the wings.
Control, not so much.
And here we are, once again, reminded that we don’t really like to trust, preferring to control because we think we can control, control. . .
However we can’t really do that now can we?
So once again, here we are back to trust.

And that’s all God asks in the first place. . .that we put our trust in Him for it is the Lord your God who is in total control. . .and so. . . now we understand, right?
We understand that we need to simply trust because it is God who is in control, not us, and He has asked one simple thing of us. . . “Trust me”

“But blessed is the
one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

Beauty and life found in a winter’s dismal cold rains

“In winter, when the dismal rain comes down in slanting lines, and wind, that grand old harper, smote his thunder-harp of pines.”
Alexander Smith

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Psalm 19:1







And for those who have not choice but to be outside, it’s time to hunker down. . .




My neighbors two horses bear up, or down, under the dismal weather.
When it gets too terribly cold or snow and ices, she does put on their coats.
The horses are probably 25 years old, and when you see one, you see the other–always together in tandem. Today they looked much as I have felt.
Supposedly the sun is to make its appearance tomorrow. It will be the first time in several weeks. None too soon may I add as I think man, beast and fowl can all benefit from a little sun!!
Here’s to sunny days ahead and thoughts of the coming Spring. . .



(a collection of images from the yard: rain drops, a tufted titmouse, a bluebird, and a pair of forlorn horses / Julie Cook / 2015)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11


“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”
― Og Mandino

(A lone crow perches upon the pine in the heavy fog / Julie Cook / 2015)

A shrouded veil of monotone mist envelopes the Earth’s weary frame
As a grey wet cold penetrates down to fragile old bones.
Gone is the vision once so bright and clear
as tired old eyes now strain to see through opaque clouds.

Lifelessness, anointed and wrapped in flaxen linen,
is placed in the blackened emptiness of nothingness
While silence crushes down upon the living
A vacuum sucks away the very breath of Life
as the Earth spirals out of control.

A lone crow acts as sentinel
to the drama between Heaven and Hell
When the battle ensues for humanity’s soul,
Rain begins to fall.

As the fog rolls in, heavy and thick,
Figures eerily shift in the limited light
Specters of those who once were now drift across the land
The ground shakes and the rock splits
As a single ancient sheet is seen billowing in the wind.


It wasn’t the fog I minded, Cathleen. I really love fog. It hides you from the world and the world from you. You feel that everything has changed, and nothing is what it seemed to be. No one can find or touch you any more.”
― Eugene O’Neill

(heavy fog on a typical January day in Georgia / Julie Cook / 2015)

Mystical shroud, thick and damp, swaddles a drowsy new year.
Low and slow hangs the young Winter’s sky as she dips to kiss the ground.
Where does the earth end and the sky so wide begin?
Somewhere hidden in the grey whispers the Fog.

Ode to the tempest of weather

****I realize some of you are wondering why I posted twice yesterday. I actually posted once, when I thought my son was just about to take the LSAT, however after he called with his bad frustrating news, I pulled the post, amended it, and reposted it reflecting his troubling news. Therefore the second posting was indeed the more current of the two. All I can do is humbly ask for prayers—that I may provide comfort as well as be comforted in my lack of understanding and frustration as a mother. How to console a grown child when his heart is broken, only for the umpteenth time. . .


The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were wet and sloppy. The smoke hung sluggishly above the chimney-tops as if it lacked the courage to rise, and the rain came slowly and doggedly down, as if it had not even the spirit to pour.
Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers




These shots were taken Thursday evening. It was the first glimpse of color, from what I assumed to be the sun, which we had not seen in truly 7 days—just as it was setting. A tease of what could have been. I don’t mind rain. I don’t mind fog. I don’t mind drizzle. I don’t mind wind (well, that depends on whether it’s a good hair day or not). I don’t mind sleet, I don’t snow. But excess, well that’s another story. Nor am I a fan of the fury of any of the aforementioned weather events.

I worry for the trees–will they be blown over? Will they bend and break under the heavy ice? Will they simply uproot due to the saturated soil? I worry about driving in fog, sleet and rain. I’ve witnessed one too many catastrophes due to wet and / or icy roads.

Lightning and thunder scare the crap out of me. Remember the tree picture I posted a month or so ago? One minute a tree, the next minute a splintered toothpick, along with 5 pictures blown off the walls in the house. Yep, just looove that lighting.

For me, I think that the most troubling aspect of this phenomena known as weather lies with the unseasonableness and unexpectedness of it all. I think that’s what seems to vex me most. Perhaps it is due to the fact that there is an innate connection between our rhythm of life and this living breathing earth of ours. When the cadence is altered, I am altered. My mood shifts from placid and content to agitated, sullen and often as dreary as the day.

I’m not saying that everything should be sun and roses by any means, as I do love a good rainy day. I love that first gentle snow that blankets the earth in pristine silence. I love the anticipation of a summer’s storm. Its presence announced first by the scent of the unmistakable perfume of the earthy rain followed by the distant rumble to thunder which only grows in intensity. I love the change of seasons. The ebb and flow of the weather mirrors my own life’s ebb and flow.

It is however those endless days of grey and gloom— those days of excessive heat sans breeze or heavenly rains, which try my soul to no end. The day in and day outness of it all. Perhaps it is the lack of change, the lack of new that weighs me down with a semiconscious melancholy spirit. To wake each morning, ritually opening the shutters in anticipation of what will lay ahead for the day—only to discover that today is just a reoccurrence of the day before and of the day before that.

And just when it seemed that it would rain forever, that the skies would hide behind the grey heavy clouds, that the heaviness of the air would crush me with it’s weight, suddenly, unexpectedly there is a shift. A parting of the heavens. The light emerges, the winds shift, the mood lifts. There is indeed hope after all.

Here is to the hope of sunnier skies, drier roads, straighter trees, calmer winds, smoother waters, seasonal temperatures. . .here is always to Hope.

The siren who beckons, Mt Hood


“Are not the mountains, waves and skies, a part
Of me and of my soul, as I of them?”

Lord Byron

I’ve spoken before concerning my love for the mountains, pretty much any and all moutnians–their towering majesty and stately beauty. Rocky or green, I feel both awe and fear in their presence. I’m no climber—just a mere hiker. I’ve hiked small portions of the Appalachians, vowing that one day, as a bucket list entry, I would make the trek from Georgia to Maine….but the older I’ve become, the less I see that actually coming about—and I’m okay with that because I can still relish in their glory.

Last week my husband and I had the opportunity of visiting Oregon with our first destination being Mt. Hood—or rather the lodge, Timberline, perched at about 7,000 ft up the nearly 12,000 foot tall mountain whose claim to fame was taking part in Stanley Kubrick”s movie The Shinning….not that I am a fan of Stephen King’s twisted spook tales, I’m just stating a fact.

We had flown in from Georgia, where the temperatures had been hovering around 90 degrees, so I was dressed as a wilting Georgia flower would dress…sandals, sleeveless top, shorts. Landing in Portland I immediately note the zero humidity—or at least that’s how it felt to me… It seemed like zero humidity—however as it was drizzling, equating to some humidity in the air, it was nothing compared to being back home—hit you in the face like a brick can’t breathe humidity.

We grabbed our luggage, picked up the rental car and headed immediately out of town making our way toward the beautiful Cascade Mountain range, ominously laying in wait in the distant landscape. Mt. Hood lies about an hour and a half slightly southeast from Portland. One minute you’re in the urban hub of a major metropolitan city, then poof, you’re in the wilds of nature. Oregon is great that way!! And mind you this area is nothing but a once very active volcanic sea of activity… now dormant, or so they say– how long till things “wake up” is anybody’s guess……I try not thinking about that—just like I tried not thinking about all of those tsunami and earthquake warning’s when we were in Ucluelet, British Columbia two summers ago……….

The weather begins taking a turn for the worse the closer we get to our destination. Fog, drizzle and now I suddenly find the car’s outside temperature gauge…Atlanta was 88 degrees when our plane departed, Portland was 67 when we arrived..this car is telling me it’s 54…a couple of more miles, it’s 48…climbing up the wending road toward Timberline it’s now 42, 38, 36, (holy crap, let’s remember this southern belle is wearing sandals, shorts and no sleeves), 34…..

After what was a definite accent heavenwards, sans any view due to the fog–which may have been all for the best, we pull into the parking lot at the top of the snaking upward, wending, fog encased road, the gauge reads 33 degrees!!! My husband blankly asks “is that snow?” “Yes, yes I believe it is” is the only response I can muster as we both stare at a snow shower in progress accompanied by howling, yes howling winds. It is June 19th, I’m from Georgia and it’s now blowing snow—what is wrong with this picture???? “Suitcases, we’ve got to get the suitcases—I have clothes, jackets….yes the suitcases”….

But first I’ve got to exit the car. Humm, sandals = bare feet—barefeet treading through frozen slush..hummm… Oh did I fail to mention that the ground is covered in snow? Like this is the middle of January somewhere up north kind of snow. Like this ain’t ever melting 9 feet deep snow kind of snow…….and yes I know Oregon is up north but it’s June for heavens sake—I’ve been to Alaska in June where there was no snow….who knew??? But I’m secretly liking this—it’s so foreign and a bit dicy…living a bit on the edge….yes, I know, sad but true, snow in June is living on the edge for me—I can’t help it, I’m getting old 🙂

We make our way inside to the check-in desk. Stepping suddenly in to what seems like a different era—dark heavy wooden beams and large stones make up the walls…it is dark with a welcoming fire roaring in the massive stone fireplace. The check in lobby is on the first floor with the main “gathering lobby, one floor up. As I check-in the girl behind the desk asks if we plan on skiing—“are you kidding me??” ruminates in my head… Who the heck skies in June? Oregonians that’s who!! I politely tell her no as I’m practically apologetic for the way I’m dressed—-everyone has on jackets, sweatshirts, toboggans and I’m looking as if I’m off to the beach. She laughs.

We make our way to our room—a full fledged wood burning fire place is in the room–complete with a fresh cord of wood. Now that’s hard core preparation for cold—remember I’m from Georgia…a good to go fireplace in December, yes…June, not so much…..our window faces “the mountain”—what mountain, I can’t see a mountain it’s too foggy and now it’s snowing too hard. “what”–it’s snowing too hard?” “dear Lord”………..



The view out our window actually would allow us a view of the mountain’s massive summit and the ski slope runs past, allowing for us to catch a glimpse of the brave souls who have come to Timberline to take advantage of the in-coming fresh snow. They snow year round at Timberline except for two weeks following Labor day when everything shuts down for required maintenance. Folks back home are water skiing and folks here are snow skiing—wow!

I am suddenly aware that I’m hearing a constant groan of engines…”what in the heck is that?” as I peer out the window into a fog and snow shrouded landscape. I suddenly see some headlights whipping aroung and around….snow plows working on the “slopes”….hardcore in June…


As ours was but a whirlwind visit to Oregon, cramming in as much as possible in a week’s time, the following morning we were off, headed south…ooo south, sunny and warm..but that wasn’t happening as we were headed to Crater Lake and they had snow, and what I surmised later looked like even more snow, but more about that later. It was just as well to depart Mt. Hood as the weather was not in our favor—hanging out at the fire was pretty much on tap for us. Of course we could have ridden the ski lifts to the top of the slopes but lacking any view, we opted against that little jaunt.

As we departed the skiers and snowboarders were arriving in droves…June 20th, two days until the official day of summer and I’m in the middle of winter….so very odd….

But as happens in life, two days following our departure from Mt. Hood, a family tragedy began to play out with the sad confirmation coming yesterday. A dentist, from Salem, Oregon, an avid climber and outdoor enthusiast, Kinley Adams, was prepping for a climb in Nepal. He has climbed Mt. Hood many times, being very familiar with the mountain. I didn’t realize this but at this time of year, as the snows are melting somewhat due to warmer temps (who says it’s warming but I digress), the snow is wet and has the potential for whole sheets to shift and slide, running the risk of avalanche. It is not uncommon for climbers to begin a trek in the middle of the night when the temperatures help the snow to firm up, not being so wet—which is what Dr. Adams had done on June 22nd.

His was to be an assent up and then back down, returning to the Lodge by late afternoon. However Dr. Adams did not return by the designated time. The weather played against a search and rescue, halting efforts on and off for the following days. This past Sunday, an army helicopter spotted a body at almost 9000 feet which was presumed to be Dr. Adams.

It took rescuers over 15 hours to recover the body, tenuously and slowly making the sad journey down to the lodge and Dr. Adams’ waiting family. As of this morning, news reports do not know the cause of death, as to what went wrong. Was he caught up in the sudden snow storms, did he lose his bearings, did he slip, have a heart attack…??? We may never know. He was experienced, having climbed Denali, Rainer, El Capitan—-he was no stranger to the mountains….he had been up and down Mt. Hood….but…..

And that seems to be the way with the mountains—they sweetly whisper your name, calling you to come, higher and higher…just one more turn, one more step upward—rewards are massive…but risks are ever greater….The one thing that has stuck with me from all of this is the comment that Dr. Adams’ brother-n-law made to the media Sunday before the body had been spotted—Kinley Adams was a strong Christian believer whose faith was such that it was indeed just that– faith…”Faith is not about knowing your future, it’s about knowing who is in charge of your future.”……

and that is all any of us has—we don’t know the future, but Someone greater does…………