We’ve just returned from a long weekend spent on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California. On our last night there, our friends took us to a hidden and almost magical place in the Alabama Hills, just below Mt. Whitney, where we built a campfire and enjoyed a meal prepared by the best camp cook this side of the Rockies. The shadows lengthened and faded, and a glorious sunset painted the sky as we sat around the fire. Nearby a stream sang and burbled, and earlier — while the sun was still out — we counted at least a half dozen pan-sized rainbow trout. (Alas, no fishing poles along on this trip!) I’ve added some photos to my scrapbook page on the web site if you’d like to take a peek. (Scrapbook)
I’m not sure why I find such rest for my soul in the midst of God’s creation — whether in a sheltered pine forest, the stark wide-open spaces of the desert, or in the dramatic terrain at the foot of some of the most rugged mountains in the world. But it never fails. I come away refreshed and energized as if from a long and peaceful sleep.
This morning I walked the Living Desert, just across from our home. I take my walk before it’s open to the public so I feel very comfortable talking to the animals. (Just call me Dr. Doolittle!) Certain ones are my favorites. I’ve mentioned the Javelina before (in my scrapbook), who is a great listener even as he snorts along in the dry soil, but a new favorite is the four-month-old Eurasian Vulture baby chick. When grown he will have a wing span of nine feet! Already he sits close to three feet high, his wise face holding a sense of magesty as he surveys his new world, his parents perched protectively near his huge nest. (They are monogomous, and mate for life.)
During the past several weeks, I’ve had some serious post-surgery decisions to make. I think better when away from my usual home or office environment. Perspectives change — perhaps because I shrink (along with my concerns) as I survey God’s glorious creation — the world, the creatures in it. As for the decision that has been weighing heavily on my heart — it has been made — at least the decision to wait until after the first of the year to rethink my options. A huge relief.
This has been a year of trauma and challenge, but God is good! I have great peace and joy.