Not another living soul. A lake, rocks, and forest. Gentle lapping of water against stone. And an occasional wind gust laced with the promise of winter. Horsethief Lake, ringed with an undulating treed shoreline, is going back to nature in its essential and elemental form, a place I can reconnect with my soul. A place where God speaks in the silence.

Horsethief Lake, South Dakota

The thick bark of pines climb long, narrow trunks. The grass is strewn with brown pine needles. The shoreline rocks glisten in the late afternoon sun. And here I sit on my table-sized rock, doodling in my journal and squinting against the shaft of light dazzling the surface of the water.

The hectic pace of commerce and traffic and social media is very far away here. One can almost imagine it does not exist. Peace replaces rush; rocks replace sidewalks; and silence replaces chatter. And gentle lake ripples replace bulbous water towers with town names scrawled across their massive orbs. All signs of civilization are miles and miles away.

Here a thought has room to expand, and stirrings of soul space to resonate to a point of clarity. I can take a deep break and fill my lungs with fresh mountain air. And lose myself in the miracle of this moment.