Life is Like…

In my very best southern drawl Forest Gump voice (which, My Friends, is pretty darn good), “Lie-ph is lack a waul-k through them woodz.”

There are places that heal. We, as humans, are especially drawn them. They help us (re)connect our mind, heart, and soul to something bigger than ourselves. These places offer us a peace deep within if we allow them to. Sometimes people call them their “holy ground.”

What is your place? Is it a particular spot on earth? A cabin? Or do you go to the mountains, or the ocean, or a cathedral? Or the woods?

Continue reading

  1. Mary Frances Rauch says:

    It would be so fabulous to sit and talk with you face to face. You sound both calm and restless at the same time. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and we will celebrate our 53 years together as we express our thankfulness for all the blessings we have.
    My wish for you is that 2020 will be a year of new surprises and interesting challenges to feed that vivid inquisitive mind of yours.
    I really enjoyed your article and all the great pictures! Thanks for keeping in touch.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Mary, yes, wouldn’t that be fabulous. You know me so well–yes. I hadn’t thought of that, but it captures my essence. Calm and restless.
      Congratulations on 53 years! What an accomplishment. Tell us your secret(s) to a happy long marriage.
      And, new surprises and interesting challenges would suit me well in 2020!
      Take care and keep in touch! OXO

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    Love this!

  3. Ruth Merritt says:

    Thank you, ART. Love your words of inspiration. It’s great the way your photography and writing mesh together. I’m sending this commentary to a friend who lost her husband recently. I know it will be instructive and, hopefully, very healing.
    Take care of yourself. Love, Ruthie

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Sweet Ruthie, always great to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s husband. I don’t know how my inadequate words would offer any comfort to her, but I’d be happy if they do.
      We should see each other again! I’m not that far away from you anymore. I miss you! OXO

  4. Penny J says:

    I just bought the MaryJane magazine, and remember you from a few years back. I remember you were interested in walking the Appalachian Trail “someday”. My husband finished it last year and he wrote a book. I would like to send it to you for your enjoyment. Just let me know your mailing address.

    Penny Jack
    Anchorage Alaska

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      YES! AT is still on my list! I don’t think I could ever pull off the whole trail, but def want to do part of it.
      I’d love to read your husband’s book! Did you join him on any of the sections?
      Email me at I’ll send you my mailing address. I’m so excited to read his adventures on the trail!

  5. Dianna Hauf says:

    Ahhh Rebekah, such a deep, insightful and wonderful personal story! It is exactly what I too experience when I take my hikes! I especially love my alone times with just me and Kodabear. Its spiritually refreshing! Thank you for sharing.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Dianna, yes, those are the words that perfectly describe these journies in the woods. “Spiritually refreshing.” Absolutely! Thank you for giving me those words. That’s what I meant to say! OXO

  6. Jill McFaul says:

    This was a lovely walk. I could smell the smells, feel the sun and hear the crunchies under my feet. Love having the kitties and puppies along. My kitties love to be with me but will not follow unless I walk in safe places like the woods or fields near the barn and house. Thank you for today’s walk in the woods I truly enjoyed tagging along as I can’t walk in my woods today but! maybe tomorrow. Happy trails. Jill

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Jill, I wondered if cats usually join others in walks. It seemed odd to me at first, but I love them to come. They enrich my walks as they suddenly climb a tree and then jump down. Or chase each other — or just a blowing leaf. They lead me to weird thing on the ground as they dig. And they’ll meow if they lose sight of me.
      Thank you for joining me on my walk. I loved having you there. Maybe I can come with you on your walk one day. Have you ever joined our You Challenges in the month of May? We share our walks with each other through photos and words. Very lovely experience. Join us next year!
      Enjoy your strolls! OXO

  7. Pamela says:

    Absolutely adore your posts. Read the “10 years ago” first and was hooked. Just started reading these blogs a year ago and had not checked yours out yet, but you have a new follower. You write the exact sentiments that I feel. It only takes one person to make change wherever you live and even a single act can help! Lived in a city for 40
    years and then moved to RURAL Kansas but I was always a farmgirl. Even when I was
    growing up in New England, I had the same feelings about the woods that you expressed
    so artfully. Thanks for taking the time to prepare and write such a wonderfully express-
    sive blog for us. Pamela

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thank you for your words, Pamela! I’m so glad you found us all here at MaryJanesFarm. It’s so refreshing to find like-minded folks. And MaryJane’s website is one of the few happy, safe, uplifting places on the internet.
      Your words are powerful. “It only takes one person to make change.” We often get caught up in feeling like we’re not able to make enough of an impact. But two hands are TWO hands, right? Thank you for sharing.
      Farmgirls are a breath of clean, fresh air in a smoggy world. OXO

  8. Terri Goggin says:

    Best blog I have ever read. You really took me on a journey to a beautiful place that I will visit again. Thank you.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Oh my gosh, Terri, are you kidding me? You made my day! No, week! No, month! I’ve got such a big smile right now.
      THANK YOU for taking the time to leave a comment and telling me this. OXO

  9. Amanda says:

    Simply beautiful. Both your woods and your words. I have many spots. I also love the woods. I explored them when I was a child and I still do as an adult. It seems deserted until I quiet myself and listen. Then there is so much to hear. Lesson #1. I love my garden. I work hard and put faith into tiny things and what might become of them. I have to be content with the end result be it good or not so good. Lesson #2. I love my cows. They remind me that not everything goes at my speed. I have to slow down and consider others. Lesson #3. I do not love doing dishes! But it’s a reminder that we are fortunate to have food to eat. Lesson #4 even though it makes me miserable. Sending you many blessings!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Beautiful lessons, Amanda! And important ones. My horses do for me what your cows do for you.
      These are great! Thank you for sharing. I know many of us need to be reminded or maybe learn for the first time, the wisdom in your words. OXO

  10. Reba says:

    The life # that involves being quiet is huge in my walk in the woods (as I am having to find my “holy place” currently). This is a way to be quiet yet everything around is alive and “moving” in it’s own existence. By that one can figure out how they fit into this life plan overall. At one point in this walk in the woods someone intruded (I knew the intruder)! That also will happen along the way. Figure out how to best respond and then get back to being “quiet.” Sometimes quietness is the way to respond to the intruder as I did, realizing that this was definitely a time in life that was in the past. It was a good lesson: that the intruder is in the past and quietness has resumed! It is like that unexpected area (intruder) needed to be examined before moving on. It seemed that I was on a “seat in a theater”, the woods were the stage, and the performance was past experiences being played out on the stage. These are very good steps to pass onto those who may be experiencing their own walk in their “holy place”. Thanks, Rebekah!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Reba, you are so spot-on. There are often intruders to the quiet time we need (not want, but NEED.) There was a time in my life that was full of constant chaos and noise. I rememeber thinking then that instead of “solitary confinement” being punishment for unruly prisoners that a more severe punishment would be constant interruption and chatter, no quiet ever.
      And I agree wholeheartedly. These places are our “holy” places that provide a profound connection to the Holy.
      Thank you for your comment. So insightful and helpful! OXO

  11. Jo K. says:

    I can so identify with your analogies today! Several months ago, after attending a church for many years, a person there spread a rumor about my husband. We brought it to the attention of our then pastor but it wasn’t dealt with in a speedy manner, and the tentacles of gossip spread. After a couple of months with no accountability from the gossiper, we ultimately chose to leave. Forgiveness to those who wronged us is important, and it is the avenue we took before leaving. We are now in a new and vibrant church and are taking baby steps to begin again and become involved. Not so easy when you’re in your 70’s! Without that unfortunate event, we would still be struggling in the dark place we were in, and would not have purposely chose to step into the light! Change and growth is hard–but so worth it in the end. Blessings to you and to your journey!

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Oh, Jo, your words of encouragement are uplifting! I’m proud of you for doing what was best for you and your husband. It is easier to stay put, but not always best. Your words knock me to my knees. In gratitude and in prayer. I plan to print them out and put on my bullentin board. I thank you for that. OXO

  12. Beth says:

    Just absolutely love this post and shared it so others can enjoy it as well. Thank you!

  13. Diane Van Horn says:

    It’s so good to see you have a woods at your new farm! It is also great to see Strudel is all in one piece and enjoying the walks in the woods.

    My place is also in the woods. I love to walk in the woods and watch the seasons change. I have a special tree that I visit. His name is Eugene. He is a gigantic evergreen with a trunk so big, I can’t get my arms around him. I take his picture often in different seasons and times of day. I usually hike in the woods with my dog Molly and sometimes my Hubby but the walks that I love the most, I am alone. Alone with the flora and fauna, the moss and rocks, the lakes and streams. Alone to breathe the forest air and listen to the quiet. It makes me feel alive and humbled.

    It is getting cold here in Wisconsin. We have had some snow already. I can send you some, I know you will miss it. Glad to see you are settling in. Can’t wait to see where your path leads you.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Oh, My Friend, I love that you named your tree. I have a special one as well, but hadn’t thought about naming it! Have you heard of people singing the trees to sleep for winter? Sounds woowoo and “out there,” lol, but I’m kinda both. Haha. So I think I’ll try it this year.
      I do want your snow, but guess it would just be water by the time you sent me some. Am definitely green that you have already gotten some.
      “Alive and humbled”…your words are perfection.
      Post a pic of your tree! I don’t think you can here? IDK? but on FB if not, and tag me. I’d love to see your Eugene.
      Good to hear from you, Diane! OXO

  14. Donna Kozak says:

    Hi, Rebekah – have to agree just getting outdoors makes everything seem better, rain or shine ! A slow walk around my property (and the neighbour’s field) lifts my spirits – can’t take my old pussycat, tho, but he is content in his own backyard. Looks like your furry buddies are enjoying their trek outdoors !

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Donna, you are right about getting outdoors. It is a spirit-lifter. I’m going to try to send you a link to something. Be right back.

      • Rebekah Teal says:

        This is the “Try Nature” short video I saw at a Film Festival in the mountains several years ago. I’ve shared it before, but in case you missed it. This version bleeps out a particular word. Let’s see if this link works.

        Thanks for your comment! OXO

  15. Libby Orenbaun says:

    My dad had a few acres in southeast Texas. He had trails that he walked every morning. He kept the trails clear of underbrush but the overhead canopy made the trails feel like you were deep in a forest but in reality, there was a subdivision next to his property and a busy highway in the front. Every time I went home to visit we would walk the trails with his little dog Buddy, who was on a leash. He was a known runner and loved to escape and go his merry way. Dad also had a walking stick and offered me one to use. Your story brought back sweet memories. He walked the trails until he was 98.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Thank you for sharing this with us, Libby. I love it: your Dad created his own little haven and enjoyed it every morning. I can just see your Dad (whom I picture with brown boots and a well-worn brimmed hat. His stick is tall, natural wooden walking stick) strolling with his dog, Buddy (a blonde lab?). And then the father/daughter walks when you visited. Wow. Sweet memories for you, for sure. I’m sure I’m wrong about the details, but that’s the image that formed in my head as I read your words. Yes, perhaps that nature walking ritual helped your Dad enjoy such a long life. Maybe mine will do the same for me. OXO

  16. jacqueline Hull says:

    My very favorite place is on a high point on the ocean in Maine sitting, listening to the waves, smelling the ocean air and gazing eastward to the British Isles from where my ancestors immigrated. It’s amazing to me because so many of my relatives are also
    drawn to the ocean all the way back to great granny who came from southwestern
    England. I’m looking forward to returning to Maine in 2020. Before that I will feel all of
    the above in Beaufort, SC, over Christmas

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      Jacqueline, I’ve never expereienced the magical coast of Maine (seen videos and photographs), but your description took me there and brought such peace. My toes must touch the mighty ocean at least once a year in order to be a whole person. The draw of the ocean. Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? “Mother, Mother Ocean. I have heard you call….” Great song. Enjoy your time at the beach! OXO

  17. Carol D says:

    I think this just may be my favorite post of yours. I don’t really have a ‘spot’ exactly, but instead, I have trees. I zig-zag through the yard or woods to give them a pat and a hello then move on to the next one. It’s always been like that no matter where I’ve lived. We recently drove past a property we owned years ago and I made my husband stop the car so I could run down to the edge of a pasture and check on a water oak that I loved. I think it remembered me because it shivered a little, ha. It’s all grown up now.

    The tree thing must run in the family. My sister in SC has ‘praying trees,’ a stand of live oaks where she slows to cool down after a run. Each tree represents someone or something she prays for. Included is a nephew tree, thank God, where my now adult sons are firmly included.

    I guess the thing I’ve learned from my ‘new’ trees in Ark is not to be jealous of all my past trees and their deep permanent roots. Every little seed around the world eventually sends out a root downward and a sprout upward and says, Here I am, world! And they smile and reach for the sun and do their level best to live and thrive and offer what they can. Awesome things, seeds.

    • Rebekah Teal says:

      This is beautiful, Carol. I love the image in my head of walking amongst the trees and telling each one “hello.” I have a special one here on my new farm that I, too, greet every day. Connection to nature is powerful. And healing. Seeds, YES. Miraculous. (I always knew you’d be a close friend if we knew each other in person.) OXO

  18. Joanne Reed says:

    for your recuperating doggie -check out Dr.Melissa Shelton at AnimalEO who has researched extensively essential oils and blends for healing and support for dogs,cats,horses and even elephants. They can be diffused,applied and injected. I even find they have helped my arthritis.

  19. Absolutely wonderful/perfect read this Christmas morning. Thank you for a sits and thinks.

  20. Cheryl says:

    I know how you feel being in the woods!! I have a cabin in the New Mexico Rocky Mountains and it is my get away from noise and over population!! I stay there all Summer and never ready to come home for the winter. But it gives me something to look forward to each year.
    A walk in the woods is like life, I like that thought❤️

  21. Debby Carrico says:

    Wow! I need to get to be able to walk through woods again!!!! This was a wonderful rendition of your walks and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! Thank you!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *