There Is A Balm In Gilead

I love living in the city.  I love the noise and the activity and the people.  I embrace city living.  I love living among people of different nationalities and cultures and languages and faiths.  I love the easy access to the arts and festivals and music of all genres.  I never regret living in the city.

But, once in a while, it is nice to go to the country.  My grandparents lived in a rural area.  My family lived way out in the country for a few years when I was little.  I have very happy memories of playing in the woods, fields, and creeks near our house.  John and I lived in a small, rural town for a long time before moving to the city and loved the safety that small town life offered our children.  There is something healing about the quiet and peace of being in the country.  When I get out of the city and stand in the middle of an expanse of land, I feel free and alive and whole.

Last weekend, John was invited to speak in Ithaca.  We left Rochester and drove through small towns and rural farmland to get there.  Ithaca is a wonderful place and we were able to spend time with a very good friend.  We stayed in a house that felt like it was out in the middle of the woods, even though it wasn’t far from town.  It was so quiet!  No traffic, no car radios booming bass, no people shouting, no firetrucks or police cars blaring their sirens.  Just quiet.  I slept deeply and soundly, like I haven’t slept in a long time.  When we woke up, we had coffee in the hush of rural morning and watched a herd of deer wander near the house.

The experience made me think of a song that I love:

This song always makes me feel calm and peaceful.  It reminds me of my grandmother and her firm faith that everything would be okay, because God would take care of our needs.  I can close my eyes and remember sitting on her lap in the rocking chair.  Her skin was cool and her cotton dress was soft.  Her arms encircled me, keeping me safe and secure.  She would sing to me, and all my fears and worries and sadness would go away.  For some reason, being out in the country and hearing this song and remembering my grandmother all evoke similar peaceful, healing, calming feelings inside me.

I love living in the city.  But I am so thankful for opportunities to spend time in the country.  There is a balm in Gilead.  After our time in Ithaca, I feel that balm continuing to seek out and heal any worry and discouragement and sadness in my soul.


8 thoughts on “There Is A Balm In Gilead

  1. I loved this blog although I am a country girl and would not trade it for city life. I have tried i the city and always come back to the peace and quiet of the country. Wonderful insight and yes, there is a blam in Gilead.

    • Thank you for the nice comment. Luckily, we live at a time when travel makes it possible for city dwellers to visit the country and country dwellers to visit the city! We get to enjoy both worlds, even if only for a short time.

  2. thanks belinda, this edition of your blog took me back to my country childhood. in the summer we would run around in the fields and jump in the canal. in the winter, sometimes, i would cross country ski out into the fields and find a spot to lay down and just listen to the winter wind. i would find peace just looking through the trees to the sky. 30 minutes of that would seem like a long summer day.

  3. A lovely blog! Nothing like clean fresh air found in the country. So well written that I can sense and feel the country atmosphere!
    Thank you Belinda you are gr8

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