On each flight into and out of SEATAC I’m inspired by a mountain. Towering 14,410 ft., Mt. Rainier pierces through the clouds in silent sentinel watch in over the cacophony of Seattle’s nearly 3 ½ million souls 59 miles to the southeast . . . a bittersweet contrast.
On this flight it was as though Mt. Rainier was gasping for air above the smoky haze of Oregon’s wildfires far to the south. It heightened apprehension that our planet’s escalating nature/civilization skirmish is one I fear nature is losing. Yet, in the melancholy beauty of the sunset, two Scripture verses and one classic secular quote quietly reassured me:
“In His hands are the depth of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to Him.” – Psalm 95:4
“…to appoint unto them that mourn, and give them beauty for ashes…” – Isaiah 61:3
Looks like we’ll be on a jet headed south for the winter next week. Rather than spend the day going through another box of Kleenex today, I hiked up Castle Mountain to dry my tears 😊. I built a rock cairn on top with a Good Book pocket edition for other solitude seekers.
Here’s a few pics snapped along the trail, and one of my foraging feral friends who showed up to bid me adieu. Like Arnold, I assured him, “I’ll be back!” 😊
Seasons transitions are Nature’s Beauty Pageants. Forest floors carpeted in gold . . . mountains engraved with a 3,000 ft. white line . . . the Last Frontier’s spectacular Fall surrendering to Winter transition.
Here’s a few displays that set my soul singing How Great Thou Art this afternoon . . . gazing in awesome wonder. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2
Oh Lord, my God When I, in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee How great Thou art!
Of all the places I’ve been blessed to meander throughout this untamed, rugged, awesome Last Frontier corner of creation, Hatcher Pass remains among my most special.
“You can’t see the forest for the trees.” . . . in today’s chaotic word, life’s ‘forest’ beauty is woefully shrouded by it’s tumultuous ‘trees’ of power, greed, bigotry, hatred, and lust.
Paradoxically, whenever my wanders find me above treeline, the calamity of life’s forests below fade, and I catch a glimpse of heaven’s serenity that awaits. Gratefully gazing in mystical wonder, such were where my thoughts drifted yesterday.
As high clouds accentuated the silence of creation’s calming whispers, here’s the ethereal Hatcher Pass scene I wish your eyes could have beheld it with me.
I M Blessed . . . May U B 2!
“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is Yours.“
Time . . . free and unscheduled from family and career demands . . . is one of retirement’s supreme joys. However, it still requires a modicum of Demanding Responsible Routine (DRR).
My ‘challenging’ morning DRR involves a 5-step procedure I’ve thankfully, somehow, managed to quickly master:
1. Awake to daybreak’s soothing ‘alarms’ of birdsong and wind outside my window . . . at my advanced state of ‘maturity’ awakening has become an event of grateful celebration rather than a probable given.
2. Toss off the covers and get outta’ bed . . . when I’ve mustered sufficient will-power and energy.
3. Plug in the percolator to brew a pot of aromatic java, recently ground by my loving, spouse-tolerant wife who remains ‘undercover’ counting sheep.
4. Contemplate whether a bowl of cereal with freshly picked raspberries, or a slice of micro-warmed apple pie, is healthier for consumption.
5. Stretch out in the recliner and talk with Dad about how to best not to screw-up this new day He has given me 😊😊😊
This morning, in the midst of step #5, I glanced out the window at a storm lifting over the mountains. Looking back down at my Bible this poignant verse lifted from the page . . . I realized anew how truly blessed this ole retired prodigal’s and his DRR is . . .
“… What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes …”
Be you blissfully retired, or still engaged in the daily DRR of family and career . . . whatever storms may cloud your horizon today . . . take heart knowing life’s ‘mists’ will soon fade, and the forever Sonshine of eternity awaits.
Drizzly days disperse sunny day shadows casting the landscape with a muted, impressionist, Monet haze.
Such was mine on a wilderness wander up Castle Mountain today. Other than an unexpected spill crossing a swamp . . . resulting in an ‘invigorating’ mud bath . . . it was an tranquil, color splashed antithesis to ‘fun in the sun’.
A hot shower and scrumptious dinner prepared by my patient, understanding wife was a welcome finale. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2
“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and unrighteous.”
Tundra’s fall color peak is an ephemeral event, lasting but a few days. This year we were blessed to catch this incredible kaleidoscopic explosion of colors at Denali National Park.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s 7,000. They scarcely begin to define the vibrant hues of crimson and gold carpeting the vast wilderness that silently awed us in wonder. Wish you could have been there.
“… I stand in awe of your deeds Lord …” – Habakkuk 3:2
“Thanks for the food Lord, and please let the sun come out.” Such was my short breakfast appeal prayed over Wendy’s sausage egg croissants and free senior coffee . . . senior coffee is a freebie at Wendy’s for all ole duffers 😊
Ellie and I were headed north to Denali National Park to visit good friends and hopefully be in Denali’s 30% Club – the mountain makes its own weather and only 30% of folks visiting DNP see North America highest mountain reaching 20,320 ft. into the heavens.
Gray clouds dampened our trip with intermittent to heavy deluges until, ‘coincidentally’, upon reaching the outskirts of DNP the weather suddenly shifted to partly cloudy with intermittent sunshine. We even got to see part of Denali peeking out behind its clouds . . . God hears Wendy’s breakfast prayers, and I betcha’ McDonald’s as well 😊.
The splendor of the tundra’s fall colors is truly indescribable, so rather than butcher it with my shoddy prose, here’s a few pictures of the wonder that surrounded us.
“Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.” – I Chronicles 16:27