I am very blessed to live on a small farm in the country. Our home is down a long dirt road that turns into a private farm path leading to our driveway. From my living room, all I can see in any given direction is farmland or woodlands. For me, my husband, and our dog Bubba, it is our little piece of "heaven on earth", and a refuge from the rest of the chaotic world around us.
Almost every day, Bubba and I take a walk around the fields and woods that surround our property. It's a good one to three mile walk in which Bubba enjoys romping through the fields hunting moles, or chasing squirrels through the deep woods. While he plays,I am usually walking well ahead of him, enjoying the cheerful chirping of the birds, or the cool summer breeze that ushers me down and around the dusty paths that outline the woods behind me.
There's one particular spot I always like to stop at for a much needed break, and to give Bubba a chance to catch up to me if he's lagging behind. It's a shady little corner of the woods where the breeze seems to settle, cooling the air by as much as ten degrees, and a midway point no matter which way you're coming or going. It's the perfect spot to rest your legs - and your mind. For reasons I'm about to explain, my husband has thoughtfully dubbed this spot the "Amen Corner". (NOT to be confused with the famous golfing spot, also called "Amen Corner".)
The Amen Corner started as a resting place where I began to stop, pray and meditate while on my daily walks, as well as "visit" with family members or friends who have passed away. It's sort of like a graveyard or family cemetery, only there are no tombstones or grave markers - only pine trees and wild honeysuckle. It is the perfect spot to not only take a much needed break, but to pay my respects to those people who have had a significant presence in my life, but have since passed on from this world. Besides beloved family members, this includes dear friends, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone who I felt some sort of "connection" to.
In that quiet, shady corner, I "visit" with all those who have gone on before me - my "angels" - as I call them, sharing my thoughts in a memorable, reflective and unhurried manner. Although sometimes my visits are "short and sweet" - just long enough to say "Hello in Heaven, everybody", other days I stay and tarry, reminiscing with certain ones about cherished memories I have with them. I try to remember the things about them that were special to me, and thank them for the influence they had on my life. I share my own personal stories with them, usually starting with, "You remember the time.....". I may even ask them for advice about a troubling situation I'm facing, or ask them to watch over me and my family. And no, I don't necessarily "hear" them talking back to me, but on more than one occasion I have looked down and seen a white feather(or two!)which I take to be a "sign" from one of my "angels" that they have heard me, or are near. Or sometimes the breeze may blow just a little bit stronger or cooler - another way I think they are letting me know they "hear" me. But regardless of whether they acknowledge my presence or not, I get a great sense of peace just sharing my day to day thoughts with them, asking for their protection and guidance, and thanking them for being a part of my life, and for being my angels.
As the days, months, weeks and years go on, and more family members and friends pass away, I find myself lingering a little bit longer at the Amen Corner, visiting personally with each and everyone I've lost. It's a way I can keep those people dearest to me "alive" - at least in those few moments I'm there! More importantly, it has become a special place where I can get closer to God, as well. Sometimes I forego visiting with my angels and just close my eyes, turn my head towards the sky, and feel the warm sunshine on my face, bathing in the warmth and comfort of God's love. Or I tilt my ears nearer to the woods, taking time to listen to the many different bird sounds way up in the trees; their melodic chirping drowning out the noisy thoughts in my mind. I breathe in the thick sweetness of the nearby honeysuckle or the wholesome scent of the freshly plowed fields, and just thank God that He has given me such a beautiful little spot like the Amen Corner in which I can not only visit with long lost souls, but where I can take respite from the stress and troubles of my day to day life.
There are many beautiful spots in and around our farm,but the Amen Corner has become my favorite place to visit with my angels - and my God! Do YOU have a favorite spot like the Amen Corner that you feel nearer to your loved ones who have passed? Tell me about in the comments below!
Peace, blessings, and God's favor and grace to you always!