Finding Peace

On our ponderosa hillside, Bill and I created a little altar, where we vision, talk and express gratitude.

DSCN2197People who visit, or who receive some kind of healing from  the land, often leave something there – a special stone, feather or trinket. It is a sweet little sacred space. For my birthday one year, my cousin Jessie and her partner Mish, gave me a little green ceramic box filled with lavender, whose top was a little brown bear with pink wings. Bill and I put that, and a stone carved wall hanging of an angel that said, “Peace and Grace Be to this Place.” So we named the angel, Grace and the little bear, Peace.

When I went back up there, the following week, the bear was in a different place, and her wings had broken off. She didn’t seem any more worse for wear, so I figured she had sacrificed her wings to create a butterfly – a transformation of Peace.

On my next visit to the hillside altar, Peace was gone! What was I to do with no Peace? Of course, it became a quest to find Peace. Every hike, I searched. I looked everywhere for Peace.  For a while, I even thought that maybe someone had stolen my Peace.

A few months later, Grace disappeared. I thought for sure, there must be an altar trinket marauder. Grace was really heavy. How could a pack rat have moved her?  I wrote a little note, asking for their return, and left it in a baggie, thinking maybe it was a kid who thought they had been abandoned.

Finally, I let go.  If someone felt the need to steal them, they needed Peace and Grace more than I did.


Over a year later, Bill and I were marking trees for a thinning project.  We were probably a quarter of a mile away from the altar and 200 feet higher. At the time we were about a hundred yards apart. I thought I saw something green and shiny buried under a large root.

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As I went to investigate, it began to dawn on me what it might be.

“Oh my God!” I shouted. “Oh my God!!!”

“What honey? What’s wrong?”  Bill yelled back, with visions of me lying on the ground, fractured and bloody.

“I Found Peace!”

The moral of this little pack rat parable is that you need not look further than your back yard, when searching for peace.


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When letting go of something, if it is meant to be, it will return.

A couple of months later, I found Grace. I think the magpies or  ravens must be in on these little capers.

May you find peace and grace.

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17 thoughts on “Finding Peace

  1. What a sweet little story, Mary. And what a clever way you found to write it. With your genuine love of nature, your vast experience in the woods and water, and your true gift of writing, this is sure to be a wonderful blog! I can’t wait for your next post!


    • Thanks Kris! I am still in the learning process, so I look forward to writing more and spending less time trying to figure out the technology. From one Nature lover to another, thank you for your kind words.


  2. Beautiful B,

    I teach media and books for a living and I say you are doing great! Your writing is easy to follow and enjoyable! Your pictures are great and make me want to visit and hike. A person can definitely find peace on that land!

    Keep doing your thing girl! It’s good stuff!!

    Love you!


    • Thanks Em!! Thanks for commenting and for your words. It means a lot to me. Thank you for being so supportive!!
      Love you too!


  3. Mary,

    So wonderful to be a part of your deeper self & wanderings! Our spirits can meet on the ridge top as we both wander & ponder. Glad you take the time for such reflections! Thanks for sharing!

    Love to you & Bill


  4. One night I was in my hot tub out back under the star when I heard a noise. I looked over the edge and a pack rat was carrying off my flip flop. Right under my nose! I guess he was preparing for warmer weather.



    • That’s hilarious, Judith! I can totally see it doing that! It’s curious what scientist dig up from pack rat nests from I don’t know how many years ago, but they can find out what was growing at that time, and whatever else was around, because they take everything! Like a time capsule. Nice to hear from you!


  5. Mary, what a lovely packrat parable. Really enjoyed the journey of finding Peace and Grace just before Thankgiving. Keep up the good writing. I can’t wait till the next one. Michele


    • Thanks Michele! I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with Peace and Grace. Thank you for following and for your nice comment.


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