Message from the Director of Religious Education

I have always found reverence in nature. Thick, full forests, mountains, snow capped peaks, trees fallen down forming natural paths. I love the calm and the quiet and the soft noised of the wind in the leaves. It calms me in a way nothing else does.

Whenever I drive out to Western Mass I am amazed at the beauty of the mountains, I comment on it every single time regardless of the season. It reminds me of Skyline Drive in Virginia and how much fun I had out there most weekends. It reminds me of a simpler time, before mortgages, kids, bill. It reminds me of being free to just go and be with friends in nature and spending the entire day outside.

I miss Skyline Drive and Western Mass when I’m not there, but the other day on the way home from church driving on 495 North I looked at the hills and forced myself to appreciate them for the beauty that they provide. They aren’t great mountains but they are certainly better than strip malls.

When I fist started working at HUP I used to take 85 most of the way out there and I would cross this set of low bridges that went over a body of water. The water was always still and there was always a nice reflection of the trees in the water. No matter what was on the radio or what was going on in the backseat; going over those bridges would calm me. The reflection was beautiful but it also served as a halfway point in my commute. I would start to think about what needed to be done that day and the peace and calm I would feel when I walked into the sanctuary and reflected on the words that would be said and the songs that would be sung.

I’m very glad that we are taking this month to spend time reflecting on what we revere and what brings us solace. I know I for one need help remembering to take time to smell the roses as they say.