I stood beside a train track. It stretched beyond my line of sight, two ribbons of smooth metal. It was not pretty and did not add much to the scenery.

Life can be that way—a stretch in time that does not hold promise or beauty.

I turned and walked along the rails. The sun heated the shirt on my back, and I did not lift my head. It was better to stare at the ground and think somber thoughts.

About me were the shards and relics of someone’s past life, empty and ghost-like. Gray, wooden walls held weathered roofs in place, balancing them until the storms of life would push them to the earth. Wavy glass reflected the blue sky and the heat of the day.

Echoes of a voice sighed with the wind as it passed between a house and barn. An old mule lifted her head and waited for the owner of the voice to appear and lead her into the shelter of the barn. But not even a shadow drifted near.

I tripped over a discarded board and came to a stop. My eyes traveled across the dry ground and I lifted my head. Flowers nodded in the slight breeze—a pink flush adding life to the dirt between the railroad ties. I drank them in while my clouded sight cleared.

The flowers held to the dry soil but lifted their faces upward. They had grown from fallen seed. They did not fear the heat of the train that might pass over their bed of unfit ground. They never worried that my ambling feet might crush the life out of them. Their leaves did not quake in dread that the old mule would grind them between worn teeth. They lived with their petals open and waiting—waiting on the rain their designer would surely send.

Ridiculous thoughts about some wild flowers, you might say, but my heart stirred and lifted. I stopped to take a picture of them. Their colorful faces reflected the love of their creator and my God. My mind turned to scripture I had hidden in my heart. I have nothing to fret about or dread, even if I fall to the ground. I will get up. God gives strength to those who look to Him.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 11-13 NIV

Please leave your comments below. Have you felt content in God’s arms?



  • Oh my Karen, this blog really tugged at me. Wow, you know that
    if I could, I’d live in the mountains, in a log cabin, have a mule in
    my barn. Would be walking those tracks to “hop a train” with my
    blue tick hound dog running along side me; long ears flapping
    in the breeze, jaws opened wide with each bellowing yelp & howl.
    This reminds me of I place I once knew, called Camden. 🙂

    • Jimmy, write that book. I’m telling you–you have talent. Get busy! Thank you for reading what I’ve written. I can see you chasing that train.

  • Karen, beautiful, beautiful words to describe what you see…you make us feel like we’re walking with you at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village…if fact, you make me want to GO there…we love the Cades Cove loop road near Gatlinburg…there’s just something about walking around those old wooden homes, churches, and cemetaries that makes me feel connected to those who have walked this way before me…thank you for this reminder 🙂

    • I spent literally hours there by myself, taking it in at my leisure–hiding notes away in my head for a future book. It’s huge. The docents are worried, though. The place has been set in the hands of a college. Everyone is afraid this is their last year of working there. Some have been there for 15 years or so. We love Cades Cove, also. Silver River Campground has alot of buildings that are open on special days. The grandchildren and I took pictures there last week. They had fun exploring. Thanks for reading my blog.

  • Love this Karen So true and good reminder Bless you

    • Thank you, Carole. I took the pictures on the way home from the Blue Ridge Writers Conference in NC. I stopped in at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. I walked the whole place by myself, and I had fun talking to the docents. They looked like true characters out of the past. Thoughts crossed my mind as I wandered among the old buildings.

  • Karen,
    So much to ponder and learn from your blog: First, not to worry and fret over things that MIGHT be (the flowers not worrying that they would be crushed). Second, what do we see and what do we think about when we fall? (The person in the blog saw flowers and thought of Scripture.) Third, what do we do after the fall? Park there? Or, get up? Finally, the title itself is a sermon: Bloom Where You Fall. I LOVE IT! Thanks for making me think this morning!!


    • Carol, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Sometimes we don’t bloom, unless we fall. 🙂 Just like seeds. I never thought about it being that way, until I started writing the blog and studying the pictures I took. Talk to you later!

  • Karen,
    Enjoyed the blog – I have found that as I get older I am not so much concerned about what I have done as what I have become through the events and years of my life. Blessings on you.


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