The Ponder Effect | What replenishes your soul?
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What replenishes your soul?

On our family farm is a special place we call Daffodil Hill. For most of the year, it looks like any ordinary patch of woods. But in March—and sometimes as early as late February—it plays host to a gleeful party of yellow flowers. Every year of my life I have walked through the fields with my family, buckets in hand, to pick the flowers that grow on this hill. My mother delights in finding doubles, the dogs romp wildly, and the children are reminded how to break the stalks so that the blooms will continue to return to us year after year. This annual trip to Daffodil Hill replenishes my soul. The long walk outside, the sacredness of the place, the time with loved ones, the ritual, the smells, the brightness of the flowers after the months of gray cold. The rain sometimes dampens my spirit but my how it replenishes the earth. I deeply appreciate it all.

There are so many other things that replenish my soul on a daily and weekly basis: reading Mary Oliver in the morning, jogs and Barre3, time alone to write or notice or sip, friends around my table.

We were in a heavy place with last week’s question, and I don’t want to lose the anguish that fuels our resolve to effect necessary change. But I also know that we can’t be strong if we have let our spirits grow weak. What replenishes your soul?

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

13 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    February 25, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    A weekend getaway with my girls so we can really check in with each other. I love the feeling that I have when I drive home Sunday with a full heart and a head full of the sound of laughter and the soothing voices of my people who know me best. Sitting on the porch and looking out at the mountains and sharing life with these amazing women makes me a better wife, Mom and friend when I return to the world.

  • Anonymous

    February 25, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    I was just thinking about that this morning while I enjoyed my cup of coffee. I love coffee. I love the burst of energy it gives me, I love the smooth flavor, the warm taste, the invitation it gives to enjoy it alone while I organize my day or to use it as a means to connect with a friend. What a gift!

  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2018 at 1:45 am

    My spirit is replenished by authentic conversations where true connection occurs.
    I also find wonderful soul nourishment in nature. Breathing in fresh air and feeling the warmth of the sun is so appreciated, especially this time of year. Spending time with our grandchildren is top of the list!

  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2018 at 4:03 am

    Watching the joy and innocence of young children, especially my grandchildren. They delight my soul. Being in nature and gardening as well. Books of all kinds. I laughingly say, I self-medicate with books but when a certain line or character resonates with me, I feel a connection that uplifts me. When I read non-fiction and learn something new, I am in awe of all the wonderful things to discover and learn. If it is history, I feel connected to the human condition that was, is, and will forever be and the continued evidence of the “best” of people throughout history (usually inspired by their faith) , gives me a hopeful heart.

  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2018 at 4:12 am

    Being outside – and especially feeling the sun, whether it is warm or cold – fills my cup. It could be a short walk with my dog, a hike in the woods, or time just putzing around the garden, but there is so much pure beauty to take in – away from technology and day-to-day admin. I also love to cook, and enjoy the rare unhurried moments when the house is quiet and peaceful and I can focus on just that (which is admittedly almost never!). And then there is the wonderfully perspective shifting experience of travel…

  • Anonymous

    February 26, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Just thinking about the two places that replenish my soul makes me begin to feel their effects.
    Our driveway is long. Maybe a half a mile. It is lined with trees on both sides. At one point it curves down a slight hill to run along the side of a pond. Every day when I get to that top point before I start down I look to see the light shimmering through the trees and I feel myself enter a new place. The busyness of my world slips off my shoulders and I feel a sense of wholeness, a sense of God and the beauty of His world. The world I am supposed to be living in. I feel a completeness and a peace.
    The same thing happens to me when I lie in the sun on the deck of our sailboat. There is no noise, no motor. Just the wind and the sun and the diamond tipped water. I let go and feel myself become part of the rocking of the boat, part of the wind and the sun and the water. I become filled up with God.

  • Anonymous

    February 27, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    A long run without music or a phone tethered to me. Just me, the road and my wanderimg thoughts. No time constraints. Just the pounding of my feet on pavement or dirt, my rapid breathing and the sheer feeling of freedom and time alone.

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    I spend most of my day with other people, talking. What replenishes my soul is time alone, to breathe and listen rather than speak. I love music and the union of thoughtful words with the emotion of sound. If I can sit alone and listen to music for a half hour, I am a new person and a more connected one. I am ready to go back out into the world again and meet others where they are.

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    A long run, a bubble bath with a nice glass of red wine, sitting on my front porch lost in a good book, church, spending time with family and friends, and the laughter of my nieces and nephews all bring me to a place of pure joy and nourishment.

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2018 at 4:50 pm

    A short list:
    There is often a point on run when I am no longer tired and my legs are just carrying me and I feel completely whole and happy. If I’m on a trail or a beautiful road it gives me the chance to be grateful for the natural beauty of our world and with every step I take I become more energized. I also get this feeling when backpacking deep in the mountains where the sheer beauty of nature is overwhelming.

  • Anonymous

    February 28, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Taking a long walk with my dog, with a favorite podcast or playlist in my headphones is so replenishing. It feels very “Me” – a thing I can do alone but not feel alone, a thing that connects me to the world because it gives me time to think and pray, while also serving the introvert in me who neeeeeeeds to be alone to decompress. Sitting and talking with my spouse after a long week, also replenishes me. No one “gets me” like he does, and I’m always grateful to come back to home base after sometimes chaotic, disconnected weeks. And, as crazy as it sounds, sitting down with a cup of tea and my calendar, where I can make lists and button up the coming week also brings me life, because it reminds me what’s coming and what to prepare for … so I don’t get harried. Without my calendar reset, it’s hard to feel like there is any time to replenish.

  • Anonymous

    March 2, 2018 at 12:50 am

    Sunday morning, technology-free breakfasts.
    Watching a fire in the fireplace go from just starting to self-sustaining.
    Walking in the woods in the dark with no flashlight.
    Moving on the water by wind or paddle.
    Rolling around on the floor with dogs.
    Making something with my hands.
    An incredible music show.
    Mostly, an extended bear hug with a loved one.

  • Anonymous

    March 2, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Yoga! Especially hot yoga. There is nothing more purifying than sweating out all the negative while breathing in the positive energy around me. It doesn’t matter if it is an advanced power flow or a candlelit restorative, the time alone with myself replenishes my soul so deeply!
    A super hot bath is a close second. Water in any form relaxes me. Which is why laying in the hot sun by a pool, lake or ocean is definitely up there!