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Places That Refresh Our Souls

Whether its the Redwoods in California or Williamsburg, Virginia, we all have a special place that rejuvenates our soul.

Is there a place that refreshes your soul, simply by being there? If so, please let me know where it is. I’m making up a plan for the next 100 places I want to travel to! In the  photos, you can see a few favorite places of mine. Can you identify any?

Larry gave me a T-shirt last Mother’s Day. (I’ll admit it…when I saw it, I wanted it, and told him it was exactly what he should get me for a gift…nothing subtle about me!) Across the front, in bold letters, it says: “The mountains are calling, and I must go.” The place Larry bought the shirt was Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia, in May 2009. 

The words across the front, though, were written in California nearly 100 years ago by John Muir, founder of the 630,000-member Sierra Club, the same man whose enormous enthusiasm and persistence carried our nation to the birth of its national parks system.

Some of the places that refresh our souls are in national parks, such as Grand Canyon in Arizona, Yellowstone in Wyoming or The Everglades in Florida. 

Some are in state parks, like Silver Falls in Oregon or Tyler in Pennsylvania.

Some of the closest and easiest for us to get to are the ones right in our backyard…in community parks like Langhorne Heritage Farm and Catawissa Creek Nature Preserve that folks in my own town worked so hard to save, and to which I donated thousands of hours in the negotiating and the raising of funds to purchase. 

Some places that refresh our souls were saved by people unconnected with government Places like Williamsburg, Virginia and the Redwoods in California.

Those open spaces that refresh your soul might be the snow-capped mountains, a tranquil lake, or a meadow with waving grasses, or a rushing stream, or an ocean beach….

Wherever those places are that refresh your soul, chances are 9 out of 10 that someone had to work hard volunteering time and energy to save it, other people had to donate money, someone else had to bear the attacks of those who wanted to commercialize it, someone else had to negotiate with the owner, the neighbors, the prevailing government. Someone, still today, has to maintain it. 

Whenever I visit one of the many, many places that refreshes my soul, I pause for just a moment to thank God and the many unnamed people who helped make it possible. 

So, I’d love to know: where is a favorite place that refreshes your soul? Tell me about it.  


Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions!

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