My family and I went to Tennessee a couple of weeks ago for Fall Break. We normally don’t take trips this time of year as we’re preparing for winter around the farm. But this autumn, we decided to throw all responsibilities to the wind (until we got back home anyway) and have some fun.
We rented a cabin in Standing Stone State Park where along with the full amenities and fireplace came no cellphone service, Wi-Fi, or television. It was wonderful to relax every evening in the quiet of the cabin reading books and playing games, away from the demand of social media, email, extracurricular activities, and writing deadlines. During daylight hours we visited nearby family members, shopped in the local antique stores, rode our bikes, went paddle boating on the lake, and hiked a few trails.
Now this part of Tennessee is known for Copperhead snakes. As we set out on our first hike, we were all a little nervous at the thought of these potential threats. In the beauty of the red, gold, and brown leaves covering the forest floor, the only sounds of trilling birds and the loud thump of our hearts as we stare at our feet in search of any serpents, we stopped to take a breather. Once I looked around me, I noticed the gorgeous view of the lake ahead, the sunshine glittering through the trees, a quaint bridge in the distance . . . . I realized all I was missing out on because I was too worried about the path before me to see the blessings around me.
How true that is of life sometimes. We’re so focused on the path ahead, worrying about dangers that may or may not be there, trying to do everything and do it right, we forget to stop and look around us, count our blessings, see some things God has in store for us at that moment.
Our entire trip was refreshing and snake-free, but now it’s catch-up time before winter hits and the holidays begin.
Candice Sue Patterson writes Modern Vintage Romance—where the past and present collide with faith. Her debut novella Bright Copper Kettles is available now. Silver White Winters, an Appalachian romance, releases December 1, 2014. For book reviews and tales of the farm, visit Hobby Farmer by Day, Author by Night.