Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It Doesn't Take Much To Remind Me...

It is always amazing to me how spending one day quietly in nature can be so healing...I'm not exactly sure WHY this amazes me still, but it does.

My day at Grandma Mountain (Mount Rainier) was the icing on the birthday cake of life yesterday. I went first to my favorite camp ground area...the White River Camp Ground...on the far eastern side of the big mountain. I barely recognized the area after the massive flooding and wind damage that occurred in the National Park last November. The White River and excessive runoff of rain this past winter had cut a near 1/4 mile wide channel down the eastern slope of the park. The river itself remained a fast-surging flow of granite silt and boulders, but it had returned to its normal width in the basin. The western portion of the camp ground had been obliterated as the widened channel sheered huge trees and dirt in its path, resulting in a very steep drop off to the river bottom.

I spent most of my day wandering around the river bottom, looking at river rocks, the water, tiny newly formed waterfalls, and singing loudly to no one in particular...the roar of the river drowned out my warbly voice, so no campers ears were harmed in the process!

I drove up from the river bottom to Sunrise, about a 3,000 foot elevation gain from the river, and stared out at the massive, dormant volcano called, Mount Rainier. She was usual.

As I stood mindlessly in the shadow of this natural wonder, I was reminded just how small I am in the scheme of things. Many miles stretched between me and the big mountain's summit...thousands of trees lay between us...hundreds of deer, elk, beer, marmots, and other wild animals roamed somewhere between where I stood and the mountain's peak. I was no more than a mere speck of dust in this vast landscape.

I thought about the world that stretched out around me and beyond my gaze. Someone had just been killed in Iraq...a loved one had died...a baby had just been born somewhere on the planet...a child was playing on a swing set...a couple was arguing...a surprise party had begun...a new job had just started...the sun rose somewhere...the sun fell behind the horizon in another place. All of these things were taking place at the same time around the world...somewhere.

For a brief moment, I forgot my own, tiny, microcosm of a world. I forgot my MS...I forgot the job I was vacationing from...I forgot my fears...I forgot my shortcomings...I forgot my habits...I forgot my aches and pains. I disconnected from my "small" world and stepped into the larger world arena and realized what a tiny speck of life I am on this planet.

And, at the same time, I was reminded of my tiny and small thread of life I hold onto so dearly. I was reminded of the uniqueness of its texture and color and the role it plays in the larger tapestry of life. I was reminded of the things that created my texture and color...the hard times and the good...the things of my history and experience that have made me the only "thread" of my kind in the big tapestry. I WAS and AM a part of this larger weave. I AM a part of this big picture.

When it was time to leave the park and drive away back into the hustle and bustle of the city, a somewhat melancholy mood fell over me...I didn't want to leave this spot that felt more like "home" than any place I had ever lived. I didn't want to clip my tenuous umbilical cord connecting me to this place and time of something bigger and far more grand than I could imagine...I didn't want to leave the safety of the shadow of this wondrous site.

I am thankful to have had this one day to reconnect with my true "roots" really doesn't take much to remind me.
What reminds YOU of your truth? Your place in this world? Your thread in the big weave of tapestry we call "life"?


Sara said...

I hope to be there in a few days, for me it's the mountains of the Adirondacks, it's where I spent my summers growing up & was bless to be able to live for 4 years before shifting gears into the BIG city of London.

I can't wait to wander around in the woods, listening only to my footsteps & whatever wildlife is around me :)

48 hours from now to be exact I'll boarding the plane - yeah!!!!

mdmhvonpa said...

"the roar of the river drowned out my warbly voice, so no campers ears were harmed in the process"

I thought I felt a disturbance in the force ...

Miss Chris said...

Your description of Mt. Ranier was so beautiful I think they should have you write the visitor's brochures.

I don't know where such a poetic place would be for me to connect with but I know it's definitely not here where I am now. Maybe the rolling hills of Northern Virginia or the Outer Banks of N.C.



I have never been to the Adirondacks...but from a previous description on YOUR blog, I can imagine they are beautiful!

Happy trails to you, my friend...




Well...I DID pass gas a few times, too...that "could" have been the force in nature you felt versus my singing!




No one is knocking down my door and begging me to write ANYTHING for them...which would be a nice change from my chosen profession!

Mt. Rainier is easy to write about in poetic terms...she's gorgeous.


Peej said...

Sorry I'm late but here I am Moe! LOL!

My favorite place? Hmmm.... well it's in Fairplay, Colorado up in the Rockie Mountains. We'd hike up to a spot where 2,000 year old Lodgepole Pines were growing out of deep pockets of shale. Not only is it above the normal treeline but the age of these trees, and their stunted condition, always amazes me and makes me feel kind of small and insignificant...

Wonder if I could still make that hike now... Probably not. :(