In the Splendour of the Hills…

“ ‘Are you going up the hill?” inquires Todd.  “It’s a nice walk on a breezy afternoon…and if you’re lucky you may see some fun…’

The day is fine.  There is a cool breeze and a warm sun.  My spirits rise as I leave the shelter of the wood and set my foot to the brae.  Great white clouds sail majestically across the blue sky and trail their shadows after them across the bare hills.  A lark starts from a clump of grass and soars upward singing.  There are sheep in these fields, ewes which will soon be lambing, and I see an occasional hare loping its way along.  The path stops suddenly at a little spring…

Suddenly, two very large hares dash out from the shelter of the wall and having leapt and capered and whizzed around several times in a thoroughly crazy manner, they run straight at one another and begin an absurd sort of boxing match, rotating on their hind legs and hitting one another with their front paws.  I rub my eyes (for it is almost incredible) and look at them again…yes, they are, two large brown hares with long silky ears boxing each other…dodging and capering and leaping in the air and then going for each other again.  The oddest thing is the silence – no sound from the combatants – and the combat is in no way a ferocious affair.  In fact it is not a fight at all, but a friendly sparring match…these creatures are full of high spirits, mad with the joy of Spring.  They feel the stir of the rising sap and they caper and crouch and bound across the moor.

Suddenly they have vanished.  Where have they gone?  To my inexperienced eye there seems to be no cover at all on the bare hillside.  There are a few biggish stones and tufts of rushes, there is grass and withered brown heather…and that is all.

The play is over, and now I begin to wonder if…I imagined the whole thing…but somehow my heart feels gay and my step is lighter as I take my way up the hill…

The song of Tennyson’s shepherd boy comes into my head:

‘Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height

What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)

In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?’

But there is a pleasure that lives in the height, and a strange peace.  Here, where one is high above the little world of men, one can get one’s values right.   Paltry troubles look paltry beside the grandeur of God’s hills…how could I have allowed.. [simple, everyday frustrations]… to disturb my equilibrium!”

~ D. E. Stevenson, from Mrs. Tim Gets a Job

(Bold, mine.  Love when I find unexpected “playdates with God” – as Laura at The Wellspring calls them –  on the pages of a 1940’s novel, especially knowing this particular series came out of the author’s real life experiences!)

Mrs. Tim gets a Job, by D. E. Stevenson.

Today, may you have lingering, lasting moments of dwelling upon the hillside and brae — within the pages of a transporting book, or out in the living book round you —  letting your spirit play, as kite string, to sail majestically along clouds on high, savoring the pleasure and peace that lives in the height.

May you find an hour or two of stillness to promenade along the grandeur of God’s hills… where paltry troubles look paltry…                                                         and He holds you close to heart.

And… time to bound and leap and caper… for the sheer joy of it.  🙂

Paeonia

©   Pam Depoyan

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About Pam@Writing...Apples of Gold

I love to hear your thoughts, even chat back and forth amongst comments.Won't you join the conversation? :) ..................................................................................................................... May my stories refresh you, like a whisper from our Father's Heart !
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11 Responses to In the Splendour of the Hills…

  1. Lynn Morrissey says:

    Lovely, Pam. All this talk of hills and heights reminds me of the psalm: I will look unto the mountains, from whence cometh my help. (I don’t know the exact quote, though I should). I always feel this way when I’m in Denver at a retreat center. I feel especially close to the Lord when I look from my window and up at the mountains. I almost “see” His Spirit leaping across the mountaintops. Bless you for sharing these beautiful readings.
    Love
    Lynn

    • Yes, I love that psalm (I think it is 121) too! And I came from a place of mountains, so I can picture those in this too. Have you ever heard that story about hares before? I never had, but when I looked for photos there are tons out there of “boxing hares…” They look just as she described… leaping and cavorting for joy. Didn’t see any “stock” ones though, so didn’t post any. It shows me the Lord’s joy in play that he would put that in animals like that too… I’m glad you enjoyed it. Love to mine little jewels from favorite writers (or favourite, as in this case 🙂 ), don’t you?

      • Lynn Morrissey says:

        LOVE your British spelling! No, I had not heard the hare story before. THat’s what I love about you, Pam (among other things)…..you always introduce me to new jewels!

      • I’ve always loved the look of the “u” they include in so many words… 🙂

        Don’t think I’ve ever even seen a hare… except in picture books… just little brown bunnies in my yard (who have sadly eaten up my best petunias!)

  2. Lynn Morrissey says:

    Oh boo about your petunias! I wish you could see Beatrix Potter’s house in the Lake District. She drew lots of rabbits!

    • I know. 😦 One day it was flourishing, and the next it was like someone cut off all the tops. Those little rascals!

      I think they filmed the movie Miss Potter there… it is extraordinary in beauty, I know. I’d love to see it in person someday…

  3. lolita says:

    I was wondering if there are free e-books or pdf forms of D. E. Stevenson books but there are none. I found instead one “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was for free and I could not help but read the more than 300 pages in one sitting.

    It is about the moors in Yorkshine and about friendship and determination. The main characters are just kids of 10 to 12 but the story paints a delightful picture of one garden which feels so much like Eden and health and joy comes from it. It even sang the Doxology but the auther pointed at the redemption as “magic.” But one can name it any and still point it to The Maker.

    Anyway, I so love the scenes of the moor especially in the springtime and summer which is but short in England and it is so much as your hills here. Jesus go up the mountains to meditate and I am so happy for you that you have been to recently.

    • I love that book, Lolita! So glad you could read that online! You might enjoy another book by the same author – A Little Princess. I did find a D.E. book where I could read the first chapter on Amazon, but that is not enough. Do you have libraries in your country? That is where I am getting all mine to read…

      Yes, photos and stories, wonder moments all around us…all can lift us to those mountaintops. I loved how Stevenson wrote that about all her worries melting away beside the grandeur of God’s Hills around her. For you, I know those island hills are breathtaking too (at least, I picture them as like those I once saw in Hawaii many years ago…) May He lift you to those mountaintops this week in your heart!

  4. laura says:

    I love me a good playdate with a book and God’s fine company. Nothing better. But I have seen some bunnies doing this same kind of boxing around here! It’s really quite the sight, isn’t it? Thank you for the blessing, friend. Breathing deep today.

    • That’s amazing, Laura. I’ve never seen that, except in photos online after reading this… I loved how the author was writing about her character having a sort of “playdate with God,” walking on the hills to get refreshed from her daily cares that had become overwhelming, and musing on the splendor of His hills, how concerns seemed paltry in comparison… 🙂 Glad this blessed you too!

  5. Pingback: Alleluias ringing, in the windmills of your mind | Writing… Apples of Gold

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