There’s a clearing in the woods.
It sits in the heart of the forest, underneath a sun-lit sky.
It is a magical place, a quiet place, a sacred space where God awaits.
It is a place where children run free.
They climb, they run, they explore, they pretend.
They are soldiers hiding in the trenches.
They are Pioneers, headed West on the Conestoga Wagon Train.
They are Pilgrims, processing in prayer and song.
They are rock climbers, cave dwellers, fort-builders.
The clearing has a tree; a towering Hemlock; great for climbing.
On it, is a sign bearing a young boy’s name, for his parents gave him
this tree on a Christmas, long ago.
Under its canopy, stands a bench; the handmade gift of an older brother,
to go along with the tree.
This spot has welcomed many a tired climber.
A respite, a place of rest, a seat where one can relax and lookout upon
the vast expanse of wilderness; and ponder its Creator.
The bench by the tree in the clearing
has become a favorite place to the children’s mother.
She brings her rosary here and offers prayers for her friends and family.
She totes whatever book she is currently enjoying; and sometimes
brings a thermos full of hot, steaming coffee to add to the ambiance
of her time in the woods; it’s aroma wafting up into the billowing clouds above.
Always in the clearing in the woods, He is there.
The Lord God on High, Master of the Universe…this Universe.
It belongs to Him.
It is His gift to them.
They know that they can find Him there; that He is always waiting to greet them.
He delights in their antics and cherishes their giggles and red-tipped noses that
have chilled in the frosty air.
The clearing in the woods is a refuge for those who have had a trying day
and are searching for some time alone with God.
It is a classroom for young scientists who are learning about insects and
reptiles and plants and things.
It is a world of adventure to be shared with a visiting friend.
It is a Grotto when Our Lady is carried there in prayerful song and placed
upon her table of honor with music playing to keep her company.
One can sing to one’s heart’s content in the clearing.
Only God is listening and He doesn’t mind if the notes are off-key.
One can dream and think and discern and wonder.
One can hope and decide and plan and admire.
One can create and search and find; in the clearing in the woods.
It is a family place; a private place, a sacred space.
It is a lovely clearing. A beautiful clearing. A peaceful clearing.
It is our clearing; for which we are so truly thankful.
Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich