Hills and Harbor


For the sake of privacy, I don't post photos of our town very often, but this past Thanksgiving weekend was so beautifully sunny that Hubby suggested we take a drive around our town to look at the lovely fall colors before they've been blown away by a storm. I decided I wanted to share s couple of photos from that outing here.

Our small San Francisco Bay Area town is uniquely situated against rolling hills and the water of the San Francisco Bay that stretches tendril-like fingers inland through straits, past us, and far into the interior of the state of California. If we get November rains and overnight cold snaps (as we have) we have the unique privilege of seeing our hills turn green at the same time as the trees turn lovely autumnal shades of gold, orange and red. This fall is one of those spectacular ones I long for.

I remember taking my brother to see our town when we first moved here almost a decade ago. The reason why I remember is because of my brother's reaction. As we stood on the pier at the marina, he looked up at the rolling hills that come down to meet the water. He was quiet. Then he said, "The hills are pensive." And then he was quiet, pensive and meditative again himself.

Many times over the years since I've found myself drawn into deep thought by the hills and the harbor. I've often found a connection with my soul and my Maker because of them.

Yesterday in church, we were discussing the idea of finding a safe harbor in life. The image of our own real hills and harbor resonated in me as a powerful visual image of what we were discussing. The hills protect our harbor from the winds that blow out on the open sea and even on the stormiest days, our waters are relatively calm in comparison to the treacherous waves of the Pacific to our west. The boats that anchor in the harbor bob up and down on the ripples of the harbor instead of being crashed and tossed by ominous curls out at sea.

I noted that as the captain of my own "life ship", I have a choice. I can choose to seek out a safe harbor and put down anchor, or I can choose to sail in treacherous waters. It is up to me.

It is also up to me to identify what is truly a safe harbor. It is up to me to analyze the topography before me at any given time and determine if I am headed for or away from a safe harbor. It is up to me to discern what is a safe harbor for my own little ship.

Another realization came to me. I may not feel the brute force of the elements while anchored in a safe harbor as I would if I cast myself off into the open waters. But I will still be bobbed up and down by the ripples and waves of life. I will still feel the cycles of the tide. I will still feel the wind. And if I'm not anchored properly or if I fail to man my anchor rope, I will be pulled out into dangerous waters. Being the captain of my life's ship is a constant and never-ending job of vigilant analyzing, discerning, and maintaining my bearings--always seeking the safety of the hills and the harbor.

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  1. Thoughtful posting.... wonderful photos!

  2. I realized as I read this beautiful post that I've been missing your posts. I love your analogy and insight.
    Love you,

  3. The photos are absolutely stunning! They're also perfect for the imagery in this post. Lovely.

  4. Beautiful post! The pictures are gorgeous. I can't imagine living surrounded by such beauty!

  5. I love the tree colors! And there is something to be someplace you feel is home and a place you "belong." Such a lovely happy feeling :)

  6. Hi Cindy,

    wow, what a post! It really makes you think.

    What a stunning town you live in! I hope one day I find a safe place to anchor.

    Hope you are well,

    hugs from Meg and cats xxx

  7. Hi Cindy,

    it's me again. Sorry, I forgot to say that I can now see your beautiful work because Beth has updated her laptop. I will catch up on your posts.

    Hugs, Meg xxx

  8. Beautiful as ever.

    Today we have the first fallen snow in our Washington, DC Metro Area. COme take a look.

  9. I love your analogy of a boat in a safe harbour. It most certainly requires constant vigilance to avoid being run aground or hitting rocks.

    You are surrounded by beauty there in your spot on the map. Very lovely, indeed.


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