Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Down By the Old Mill Stream

By Hazel Holland

When I painted this watercolor of an old mill scene many years ago it was to try and capture the mood of this beautiful rural setting.  I didn't want to forget the charm and quaintness of the way things use to be.  It reminded me of idyllic times in the past when life seemed to be more carefree and less complicated.

And a part of me wants to return there often.  I want to breathe deeply of the fresh air that I feel on my face.  I want to sit under the old oak tree with a good book, and listen to the old mill stream lap at my feet.  Seems there was no need to hurry back then.  Time stood still forever.

Our memories of yesterday down by the old mill stream seem to rejuvenate our spirits.  We recapture our forgotten youth as we watch the mill wheel slowly turn and remember our first kiss.  We know it was summertime back then because the leaves on the oak tree were in full bloom... and we were in love. 

But now the leaves have fallen.  The oak tree is bare and winter is here.  We preferred the summer.  But the seasons change.  And with each new season comes new memories.  The old memories will always be there as a foundation upon which to build the new.  

But we cannot live our lives in the past.  We must live in the present.  Although once we were in love and forever young, now love has come to maturity.  It has more meaning in our lives than a fleeting kiss down by the old mill stream  To love others is a choice.

We have grown wiser and stronger like that old oak tree.  Our ability to love others has grown deeper as we choose to love them more for their sake and less for our own.

We will weather the storms of life far better if we choose to live each moment in the present.  I know that we all take trips back to the old mill stream.  But when we do, tomorrows dreams remain waiting to be experienced...  And we can only experience them as we are present in our lives.  Living in the past we can never hope to fulfill the destiny God has for us now. 

So let's take the best from all our yesterdays and bring them into the present.  For it is in the present that God chooses to dwell in us and we choose to live in the Spirit.  It is in the present that we experience His joy...not back at the old mill streams of our lives.  No matter how beautiful and peaceful we remember those mill streams to be, they are nothing compared to the joy that comes with living in His presence now.

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