Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Windows with a View -- New Bern

Relax and enjoy the view from my condo window overlooking the peaceful green lake at Fairfield Harbor in New Bern, NC. Ten miles away, the charming seaport town of New Bern offers things to do and wonderful, historic buildings to tour. With more than 150 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this second oldest town in the state is drenched in history and southern hospitality. Later, I would spend a day roaming its picturesque streets, but first, I needed to recharge my inner batteries by enjoying my Room with a View.

On a warm, sunny morning in late October, autumn has painted the hardwood trees with color and muted the green of the pines. The air is still, the silence broken only by a chorus of birdsongs (and occasional “sounds of freedom” from the jets at nearby Cherry Point Marine Corps base). Other condos such as the one in which I’m staying can be seen among the trees around the lake. Their weathered board construction blends into the natural setting. Most of them are empty during this time of off-season.

A paved walkway weaves through the trees and pine-straw carpet, following the gently curving shoreline of the large lake. It is a most pleasant place to walk. A closer study of the lake reveals many small fish darting among the reeds, along with ducks and geese paddling their way along the surface and occasionally poking their heads underwater for a bite to eat.

This is what I see from my window. This is all I want to see from my window. I immerse myself in this still scene, and that unwanted entity “tension” evaporates away. Like Henry David Thoreau when he lived in the woods beside Walden Pond, I want to just sit, soaking in peace like a thirsty sponge. I borrow words from Thoreau, who wrote, “I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, I was reminded of the lapse of time.” I, like Thoreau, “silently smiled at my incessant good fortune.”

I do like Thoreau, but let’s peek at what I wrote in my journal: “As I gaze from my window, I feel as if I have been transported into a Monet painting. Soft green pine needles and reddish-gold oak leaves float across the top of the picture, their reflection a smudged wash of color on the lake’s surface. The still, green water provides the perfect palette for a master painter. Monet, however, is not the creator of this work of art. God Himself has touched this lake and the trees surrounding it creating a living picture of peace and beauty captured in autumn colors.”

Most of us have a strong desire for peace. I believe that even adrenaline-junkies long for peace deep in their souls. When I checked out the word “peace” in a thesaurus, lovely words like calm, serene, tranquil, placid, and harmony appeared. I love these words, don’t you?

“…He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul…” (Ps. 23:2-3). I am so thankful my soul was restored along these still waters. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

--Helpful Info:
My “Room with A View” was unit #5041 at Sandcastle Cove, at Fairfield Harbor on Broad Creek Road, New Bern, NC (252-633-1151). For info on visiting New Bern, call 1-800-437-5767, or go to
--Photo credit: Sandra

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