I think valleys sometimes get a bad press -

the lows, the troughs

the vale of tears

the valley of the shadow of death

But what of the hidden valley

the gentle, green slopes

the rippling river

the breeze in the branches

the delicate daisies?

What of the peaceful haven of rest

where I can be still and reflect

take time to think

and be renewed?

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The thing

about being

in a valley is that

after you've hit the

bottom you still have

to climb your way back out.

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This one is important to me because of the story that preceded it this day. It's not that exceptional, but it's significant. Especially savoring each day left now :)




You say I’m in the valley,

Like it’s a bad thing,

A hard place.

You’re right, maybe I am in the valley,

But I know it as beauty,

A refreshing place.

You know, in fact,

I celebrate this valley, because it means

I’ve started my journey.

It means I’ve put in my time and

Put down my feet, all in the

Right places to bring me

To rest.

I look around me in this valley,

At the birds twinkling in the pines,

At the crisp snap of the sunlight

On the lake a few steps away,

And I see nothing but a paradise,

A campground of your “miscreants” and “outcasts,”

Deviously cooking dinner on the fire,

Laughing out the schemes of our agenda

Obviously funny

Because if we didn’t put on this facade,

Didn’t seem like




You’d know, and we can’t have that.

Blessedly, on this warm sunny day,

I can’t hold anything against you.

I can’t, and I wouldn’t want to,

My pack would be too heavy.

I’m carrying only the essentials.

I ain’t got nothin’ but

Blue skies, dry feet

Some plant-based meal bar Ten gave me

A box of matches

And an award-winning attitude.

I’ve done this before

Or something like it

And I know all that’s truly real out here

Is how many steps I believe I’ll take,

How many freeze-dried meals I’m willing to scarf down,

And how much I savor every moment,

Squeeze out each drop of joy,

Throw myself to gratitude,

Whether that’s on the cliff face

Or in the valley.



When you’re staring down a bear,

Or on the wrong end of an empty water tank,

A valley’s exceptionally not so bad.

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I had to walk through a few valleys; though none have been alike,

The darkest one eventually led to the most sunlight,

Finally, The rocky terrain surrendered into smooth sand

The river became the ocean and I was able to get to the land.

And although I will never ever ever go back,

I'm glad that that valley led me to this path.

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A tectonic shift

has hollowed me

I survey the rift

Ripped by the blow

Steep walls protect me

mountains to my valley low

My body grieves

what was lost

the valley my reprieve

Rest and see what is found

deep below the surface

the valley is fertile ground

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i was taught to fear the valley;

it was, supposedly, dark and


now i know valleys are

teeming with life, verdant and


the mountains are treacherous;

awesome from afar,

scary up close.

i prefer a valley view of mountains

over a mountain top view of valleys

where the air is certain.

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Down in the Valley

If you find yourself down in the valley,

With the mountain peaks all around,

Don't be so quick to start climbing those hills,

For there's beauty to be found.

Even down in the low lying valley,

You descend to during those days.

There are fields and flowers and rocks and streams

To discover beneath the haze.

Learn to love your time in the valley,

For when later you reach the peaks.

You'll look back at your time though low that it was,

And remember the quiet and peace.

Karri Temple Brackett

May 25, 2023


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“Beautiful daughter of the stars,”

seems to fit this rolling land.

The roll of the hills and rivers flowing

like the syllables in your name, Shenandoah.

It was here in this wide valley where I became me,

hiker of hills and mountains,

paddler of rivers, cyclist of up and down.

seeking a poem and a song around every bend.

Our society seems to find valleys as places to avoid,

low places of mind, body and spirit.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of

the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Though, I have found death in every corner,

mountaintops and beyond,

and evil in every city and town,

and it has made me fearful.

Lo, it is not the valleys to be feared…

Here, in this valley rimmed by misty mountains,

carved elegantly from centuries of collisions,

high rising peaks chiseled and worn by time.

here I have wandered in earth’s loving masterpiece.

Elegant sculptor, divine artist, universe centered symphony,

this gentle valley leads me besides its living waters.

turning me inward so I can see outward,

beauty unbounded in this letter from home.

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I live in a valley

one of grapes & wine.

A destination for many

which is totally fine.

Preferring the surrounding hills

that make this a valley.

I hike out in nature

this is more up my alley.

Don’t get me wrong

I love all the vineyards.

But give me the wilderness

flora and fauna are my kindreds.

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there is a sweet spot

halfway between up and down

where noise from above

gives way to descent

into the valley and

the sound of water

flowing over pebble

has not yet


to tease

your cochlear nerve


quiet settles


heed the call

of auditory


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I wonder if valleys can also be resting places? Times to nourish and replenish before the challenging work of climbing? A base camp for life, if you will. Time to gather supplies and plan our journey ahead. 🏔️

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I sit here

in the valley

I have been here

for so long

searching the horizon

for a way to the top

the way out

exhausted from the

time struggling

I sigh deeply

close my eyes

returning to

centering prayer

emptying myself

it is then that

I hear it

the sounds of the valley

amazing really

I listen longer

more sounds

not the mechanical sounds

of vehicles or machines

the organized and chaotic

sounds of human discussion

passionate oratory and

the noise of politics

these sounds feel pure

unencumbered by agenda

or consuming ideology

these reverberations

signal life for

creation's sake

I open my eyes

and see it all

what my focus

blinded me to

life in the valley

that sustains me

that protects me

that heals me

and now

is inspiring me

and that will show

the path that

I must journey

to reach the top

of the valley

the source of life

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A lone.

climb of alone.

that you out of alone.

cannot climb out of alone.

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Tranquil or frantic,

All things come down the mountain.

Watch out when it rains.

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The red-tailed hawk

glides through the air

over the valley

below us.

She makes flying

look so


Unlike the smaller birds

who strive to fly,

flapping their little wings

so hard,

the hawk seems

to float on the air

without bending a wing.

Diligently scanning,

she finds a thermal of air

and begins her ascent.

Round and round she goes.

Not stuck on repeat

in the same cycle,

she instead goes

higher and higher

as she circles.

She has learned

to surrender

to the warm air

and go with the flow

she finds herself in.

From up there,

she has such

a higher

and wider


on everything.

And she’s not striving.

Just yielding

and flying

over the valley.

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Just right timing for these words 🙏 Moving ahead holding this paradox.

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