“ ‘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!)
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. 🙂
© Pam Depoyan