One of the many things I’ve always loved about Vermont is the lush, vibrant colors, especially this time of year. By now, of course, the beautiful leaves have given up the battle to stay attached to their life-giving branches, fallen to the ground, and are in various stages of decay. Nevertheless, the stunning colors of a few weeks back are permanently etched in millions of pixels on my hard drive!

It’s not only the bright reds, brilliant oranges, and glistening golds of autumn that capture my aesthetic affection. I also enjoy the variegated greens. On our recent trip, we had visited the Cabot Creamery in the small burgh of Cabot, Vermont. We left the creamery late in the afternoon and stopped at the only gas station in town. And it wasn’t a gas station, per se. It was actually a general store with a couple gas pumps out front—pumps that take you back in time. They were the old analog kind; the ones where you pull up on the lever, and the mechanical numbers spin back to 0.00. When I got out to self-serve, the proprietor came out, somewhat surprised that I wasn’t going to have him top off my tank. Nevertheless, he seemed perfectly content to let this city-slicker flatlander do the job. While the pump chugged and numbers dinged, Mr. General Store struck up a conversation, wondering where we were headed.

“Peacham,” I replied. “We’d like to get there before sunset.”

“Which way ya goin’?” he asked. I told him I wasn’t quite sure; I was just following the GPS (Yes, he knew what that was!). “Well,” he volunteered helpfully, “If you want to see a nice overlook, take the road north outta town, veer to the right, and go up by the cemetery. You can stay on that road, and you’ll still get to Peacham.”

I thanked him and headed out, following his instructions. And we were so glad we did. The thin photo above cannot begin to capture the incredible beauty of the spot. On one side of the unpaved road was the Cabot Plains Cemetery, bordered by a white fence and framed by brilliant orange trees. On the other side was the incredible westerly vista, with the lush green pasture in the foreground, multi-colored trees at pasture’s end, and purple mountains on the horizon. There wasn’t a sound to be heard other than the breeze blowing through the grasses and trees. The entire scene spoke of peace, rest, and tranquility.

Which reminds me of one of the benefits of being shepherded by the Good Shepherd. The universally favorite psalm, the 23rd, almost sighs in relief as it reports that the Lord my Shepherd “makes me to lie down in green pastures….” I think of how I was led to that spot in Cabot, not knowing myself the treat that awaited me. My kind guide at the general store got me to that spot of peace and tranquility, and I left exhilarated! I’ve also discovered on various occasions that the Lord, my Shepherd, has made me lie down in green pastures—places I hadn’t planned on going, yet they provided need rest and refreshment for my soul and left me exhilarated in spirit.

You ever been there?