In the Rockies

In the Rockies
Butler Gulch

Friday, June 24, 2011


The fast melting snow in the mountains is not melting fast enough for those of us who want to hike on higher paths, but it's making rivers and streams flow with rushing, gushing water overrunning paths and spraying faces as we try to capture its beauty and force with our cameras.

Beauty and force--how often do we think of those words as describing the same scene? Or the same person? The beauty of nature--the skies, hills, mountains, streams, flowers--have the force to change a bad day into a good one. Uplifting beauty and powerful force--both thoughts came to me as I viewed the falls and river's flows at Wild Basin yesterday. Earlier Bridal Veil Falls splashed down and gushed upward, spraying in all directions.

The news daily carries stories of rivers flooding towns, wiping out communities so that others can be spared. Our mountain streams flow swiftly, rushing as if to meet some unannounced deadline downstream. A bridge is washed out, another damaged on one of the most traveled and loved trails in the Park, the stream flowing too fast and high for hikers to risk crossing. An annoyance, but not a disaster.

Do we prefer to view rushing water through the trees (Ouzel Falls in the above photo) or through the mist, as at the Cascades? Or are we drawn to the rushing waters at our feet, spelling danger should we make a misstep? Do we look at life through the mist or the trees, choosing not to see the force, the danger, the beauty of the moment. Do we throw ourselves into the current or watch from a distance? That is the question I ponder today.

I've been in the current. I could go there again, but now I'm mostly on the sidelines. What does this stage of my life call for, what am I being called to do? Holy Spirit, I'm listening. What do you have to say?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Illuminating the Forrest

As I look at these uploaded images, it would appear that the bright flashy shooting star illuminates the forest most of all. It is beautiful, but so tiny in the forest floor that had there not be a clump (can I use such a word to describe these lovely blossoms!) of them, we might not have noticed.

Instead, it's the aspens that will change the forest landscape for the summer months. It's their tiny opening leaves that call to me each spring, call to take a hike among them as they bring their annual beauty into full bloom.

I wonder how we fit into this scheme of things as we take our transforming journeys through life's cycles. I might have though of myself as that small shining flower when dressed in one of the pink dresses that my teacher Wood cousins, grandmothers in my experience, bought me. Now I more nearly represent an old Aspen tree, one that has withstood storms, bruises and scars showing, but still standing. How I open my God-given beauty to those around me each day is up to me. I don't always see myself as having that beauty, but somehow God sees it in me. It's up to me to open the Divine love that shines through me to the forest, to make it a little brighter, warmer. My prayer today is for God to show me the way to blossom this spring, in Her love, Her ways, Her joy. Peace.