Soaring Spirit

“I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.” ~ George Washington Carver

Most readers of The Lettered Cottage are looking at photographs of  DIY projects, renovations and house tours. I remember the first words of Layla’s that spoke to me: “I was walking home that day, by myself for some reason, and I just stopped. Right in the middle of the road. I stretched out my arms and took it all in. The blue sky above me, the grassy ground in front of me, the corn fields on either side of me, and the S P A C E all around me. I told myself (out loud) to, “Always remember this moment. When you’re older, remember this moment.” I stood there for a few minutes, just soaking it up. I’ll never forget it.”

In that instant I knew she ‘got it’ and considered her a friend.

On my return to The Land of Blog, I told you I walk and run daily on the dirt roads that act as a perimeter of the property surrounding the Fairfield House.


My rounds have been a source of solace. In the very least, I’ve logged in 2 miles a day, that’s 730 miles in 2011. The journey sometimes consists of biting winds pushing me and the remains of the previous season around desolate fields into oblivion. In the warmer seasons, biting ‘green heads’ (aka pine flies, horse flies) and saber toothed mosquitoes chase me the entire way. All days, I’ve discovered everything created with love inspires. It is on these pilgrimages that I give thanks, hear echoes of angels and listen for HIS whisper. I forget about me and am absorbed by the surroundings that confirm I am part of something so much larger than myself.  If anyone ever doubts the existence of God, get out of your neighborhood and into the raw authentic beauty nature offers us. Profound simplicity is a spiritual experience of accepting each moment with love, grace and gratitude. I know peace. I am aware I am on sacred ground and am filled with so much goodness there is no room left for the pain of days gone by or worry about things that may or may not happen.

Scout, our Rat Terrier, is my constant companion. When Thomas is home he joins us. I have gotten in the habit of taking my camera or binoculars, unless it’s raining.  It is easy to forget you are in the most densely populated state in the union. I am amazed at the amount of wildlife in our little nook of the universe — deer, raccoons, skunk, muskrats, turtles, snakes, fox, otter, ducks, snow geese, hawks, egrets, owls and other raptors.

It was on one such journey that I first spied the bald eagles. The magnificence stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away as tears filled my eyes.  I am blessed. I will never forget it.

bald eagles in tree

We have come to know each others habits by observation. We each belong and are not a threat to the other. Over the past year I’ve had the privilege of building a trust that affords me to get nearly as close to them as I do my hummingbirds. It’s been my best kept secret, shared only with a precious few.

bald eagle in flight

Last year there were 34 Bald Eagles nesting on the Cohansey River on January 11, and the Cumberland County Christmas Bird Count, held January 2, estimated there are at least 88 Bald Eagle in Cumberland County. Their numbers are growing. If you are interested in seeing them for yourself and are in the area join New Jersey Audubon, Citizens United, Cumberland County Planning Commission, and Natural Lands Trust’s other New Jersey partners to celebrate the raptors of South Jersey at the Cumberland County Winter Eagle Festival.

Words are not adequate enough to describe the exhilaration you feel when you see eagles soar. Your spirit soars with them.

bald eagle soaring

I cannot help but consider the cars that travel up and down my road, passing by without noticing this gift. Are you aware of all your blessings?


Linking to:

Farmhouse Friday

Linking to Women Living Well


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20 Responses to Soaring Spirit

  1. Debbie refreshrestyle January 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    What an amazing reminder, take it all in!

  2. 'D' January 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Wow!!!!! You are so lucky!!!!!!! The other day we had to have the Visiting Vet to our home to give our Lab a shot. We were planning on going up to Pa. today to have our 50th Ann. dinner with our kids/grandkids, the dog needed a Bordetella shot to go to the kennel, which he hasn’t had since 2006. Dinner got postponed because of the snow, we’ll try next weekend. Anyhow, I started talking to the Vet about Bald Eagles and he told me that he has a nesting pair near his house, which isn’t far from us. I hope to check it out soon. The only ones that I’ve seen are on the computer.
    As your message came in, I was checking on NX, one of the three 2011 Eagles from the Norfolk Botanical Gardens nest. She was hit by a car and brought back to the Wildlife Center of Va. for treatment. They have a camera in her pen so that we can watch her. BTW, if your interested the video camera should be turned on soon at NBG, looks like the Male Eagle, who’s mate was killed last year, has a new mate. They are so wonderful to watch and we learn so much from the moderators. I’ll send you an email when the cam is running. Thanks so much for sharing your photos, I’m jealous.♥ ;<)

  3. Linda January 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Wonderful shots, Deborah.

    I try to be aware. Thanks for sharing with us. Have a blessed Sunday. ♥

  4. LaurieAnna January 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Such a beautiful post Deborah. We are fortunate to live in an area that has a nice population of Bald Eagles. Hubby and I have 18 acres of untouched heavily wooded land where we spend time taking nature walks and unwinding. We too know the blessing of observing these incredible creatures of flight, it’s an amazing privilege that warms my heart. The most beautiful things in life are the quiet things that are right there in front of us but easily missed. Thanks for the smile this evening. ~LA

  5. kathleen January 21, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    You are so right. Appreciating our surroundings and the people we meet and love are every so important in life.
    I too, have been fortunate to be in the presence of the mighty bald eagle in free flight. I felt as if my heart stopped beating as I was in such awe.
    You have a bounty of beautiful nature surrounding your lovely home. I know you enjoy and appreciate it.
    Take Care.

  6. Michele January 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    What a beautiful post. My son and I are reading “Wildwood” and the first chapter mentions “The Sibley Guide to Bird Life” (all available at the library) which has started us on an amazing journey of birds and bird watching here in town. Our walks take us all over, and we are delighted to find big birds like hawks and owls and the small ones like wrens and nuthatches. It is has sparked something in all of us. I love your photos, Deborah. Your words remind me of Emerson and Thoreau.

    Thank you for sharing.

    xoxo michele

  7. Deena January 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    What a beautiful post. My daughter walks in field behind our home and finds much peace there. I did the same at her age. This post inspires me to get back in that habit. In my previous nature walks, I’ve seen fox, deer, and wild turkey. These walks do tell me there is more to life than me.

  8. Rhonda @ BlueCreekHome January 21, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    I love every post you write, Deborah. Your words always touch me in some way. You make me think!

    I am enjoying your posts of late. Please consider becoming one of the “a post a day” blogs like the painting a day ones! I could use a daily dose of Deborah!!! : )


  9. ain't for city gals January 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    I think if it were not for my running in my beautiful Arizona desert I would not have made it…so happy you are finding the same simple pleasure, Deborah.

  10. lisa moran/Bilancia Designs January 22, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Such a beautiful post, Deborah.
    What a wonderful way to start my day….
    Have a beautiful week, my friend~
    Lisa xo

  11. Zuzu January 22, 2012 at 12:00 pm #


    I have seen bald eagles here, but way up high. This is why I visit you & your blog, Deborah. You get it. And then share it all so beautifully with all of us.

    Is that a painting of The Fairfield house? It’s gorgeous.

    Wishing you a good day,

  12. Laura Ingalls Gunn January 23, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Dear friend Deborah,

    I like to think that your bald eagles come to see me in the winter months where they nest in the Verde Valley area of Arizona.

    Secondly I wonder “Whoever do you borrow a cup of sugar from?” :)

  13. Becky January 23, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Hi Deborah,

    I love hearing your heart in what you write! Each morning when I have my quiet time, I sit out front, and it never fails that I see some birds soaring above, and as you said, it lifts my soul!! What a delight to take in all the Master has created, and to know it is out of His great love for us!! Thanks so very much for sharing this! It truly has touched and blessed me!!

    Oh and did you get your tags yet?? They should have arrived today. I am going to send you a convo on Etsy, so please check in there, ok?

    OH OH !! One more thing! Did I tell you that we have a Rat Terrier, too?? Her name is Penelope and she is almost 5 years old. We adore her!! She is only caramel and white and is an absolute joy!!
    Your little fur guy is precious!!

    Blessings and hugs to you, sweet friend,

  14. Cotton Peony January 23, 2012 at 7:13 pm #


    I wonder what if I didn’t take it all in.. then I’d have nothing to pull from to keep me going these days. The sites, smells, sounds, the feelings.. yes I’ve stored those deep inside, almost forgetting that they were there..

    Then one day, when I needed God the most, He said to me.. ‘look inside, you’ll see them’.

    Yes, He was right and true. Inside of me was the most gathered and treasured gifts I could have stored. This was Grace given to me with a very gentle nudge. My dear Mother and Father are there, have always have been.

    Gather and rake in.. we all need every bit we can get.

    Thanks for being a ‘gentle’ reminder of just what Grace can be.

    with warm hugs,
    Cotton Peony

    aka Olivia & Me

  15. jean January 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm #

    I live on an island, on a small farm that consists of God’s glorious creations. And, like you, I marvel that so many people go by it all as if it doesn’t exist. I revel in His lovely creations and stop to “smell the roses” often.

  16. Layla January 24, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    I not only loved reading this post, I loved reading the comments, too. :-)
    Always a pleasure visiting your blog, Deborah.
    Wish you were my neighbor!

  17. Claudia January 24, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Hi my dear friend.

    Thank you so much for stopping by and for sending me the new and improved spots I can find you!

    I appreciate your note and have been thinking about you and your loss as well. My life is so different after my sisters death and some days I just cant see how I can go on, but I know she wouldve wanted me too.

    You are so right… are we aware of the blessings around us! We do have so many and I am thankful and I am generally more aware of mine when I make myself head out and look at them face to face. (I love your eagle photos btw)

    I adore you and some day I will visit and take a walk with you while you leave me the in the dust!! (no runner here lol)

    Hugs and have a wonderful February…just around the corner.


  18. Karena January 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm #


    This is such an amazing story!! I am promising to remember every single day how special life is and to take notice, really see my surroundings and the beauty of it all!

    Art by Karena

  19. Jennifer January 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    walking is always better! incredible how much more we take in when we do; you can discover something new every time you walk. don’t see a thing when you drive! love this post. you live in such a beautiful area!

  20. Dawn January 27, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Hello dear, what a beautiful post. It is amazing what we can experience if we just take a moment to stop and look around. Thank you for theChristmas card. It was lovely. Life is moving so fast right now I haven’t around much and I apologize for that.
    Lots of hugs,

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