Walking up a path, what draws our eyes? In nature, or in life, what attracts us? Are we attracted to calm or to adventure, to safety or danger, to the wide paths or to the edges? Do the high mountain peaks beckon us (Long's in the photo)? Those red mushrooms (poison) practically jump off the forest floor, asking for admiration. Light shining through the trees on them, create a beauty that attracts our eyes. Pale blue harebells, tiny little flowers, require us to look carefully, unless we find them covering a high meadow, as we did in the Mt. St. Vrain saddle last week.
A chaotic and fear-inducing childhood made me, for much of my life, unaware of fear. It was such a constant that I didn't notice. The woods of my native Ozarks were protective, the trees my friends. Today I'm drawn to hike where I can go beyond treeline, where the vistas stretch below, where the flowers are often close to the ground or stuck in crevices in the rocks.
In life, I've ignored fear and danger to the point of neglecting to provide for my old age. Yet the journey has taken me back to my childhood's fears so I can excavate and release them. Some have been released into the mountain air, some into rushing waters. Others find me in dreams and as I meditate and write. My eyes still follow the mountain peaks, push for the thin air above treeline, as if moving higher will allow for the freedom to dance, to rejoice in God's creation, to be a moving part of it in a profound way. I push for something higher, neglecting to remember that the Divine is here, now, in my tiny writing room, in me.