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 grand...as 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"...it 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"?